DID YESHUA THE MESSIAH

Have a Pre-Carnal Existence? - Chapter 4

Part II – The Enhanced Public Debate Presentation

 

By Larry Acheson

 

A Response to Chuck Henry’s book

Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence

 

 


 

 

IV.  Yeshua is an Angel

       

  

I

 am now going to demonstrate that Yeshua is an Angel. But first, I would like to clarify exactly what my research leads me to believe about Yeshua’s origin.  I want to emphasize that if you disagree, I’m not condemning you, it’s just what I personally believe, with malice towards none:

        I am persuaded that Yeshua the Messiah is the WORD, or “Logos” who existed prior to His miraculous conception in Mary’s womb. Yeshua is also the Firstborn of all creation, which is exactly what He calls Himself in Revelation 3:14.  He doesn’t call Himself the First-born of the “new” creation, He calls Himself the Firstborn of all creation.  Since He is the Firstborn of all creation, this means He is not co-eternal with the Father, but rather had a beginning.  Time permitting, I will demonstrate that a perfect blend of historical understanding, anchored by Scriptural support, validates what I have just stated.

       Moreover, I am persuaded that there is Scriptural evidence that Yeshua is the Angel who appeared to Abraham, the Angel with whom Jacob wrestled, and I believe He is the Angel Who led the Israelites on their Wilderness journey[1].  I devoted considerable space towards presenting the evidence sup-porting this belief in Part One.  I plan on expounding on that evidence here in Part Two.  In fact, we are about to see that the Septuagint translation of the Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 9:6 specifically identifies the coming Messiah as the “Angel of the Covenant,” something that Chuck in his book vehemently denies because Biblical Unitarians reject any notion that Yeshua is or has ever been an Angel.  Believe it or not, a certain Angel is referred to in the Bible as “Yahweh” and Chuck concedes in his book on such pages as page 225 that a certain Angel bore the name Yahweh and acted on His behalf, in His name and authority. 

       Could an Angel who bore the name Yahweh have divested Himself, which literally means “stripped Him-self,” of His spiritual, non-corporeal nature to become a flesh-and-blood human being, born of a virgin?

 

Hebrew Scholars Who Translated Isaiah 9:6 into Greek Understood a Prophetic Angel

         In his book, Chuck Henry goes to considerable effort to try proving that Yeshua was not and could not have been an angel.  However, the Hebrew scholars who translated the Septuagint felt differently about the Ruler who was to come.  For those of you not already familiar with the Septuagint, it is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible.  The Torah portion was completed in the 3rd century BCE and the remainder was completed by the first century BCE.  I might add that fragments of the Septuagint (LXX) have been found that preserve the Tetragrammaton, the four letters comprising the name we pronounce as “Yahweh.”[2] 

        I am aware of the fact that many folks are biased against the Septuagint; maybe some of you here today are biased against it.  If that fits anyone here, please know that the writers of the New Testament did not agree with you.  I won’t be able to prove it to you in the 30 minutes I have remaining, so you’ll need to check it out for yourself.  The fact is, New Testament writers quoted from the Septuagint text far and above more often than they did from the Hebrew text.  In fact, I can show you that Yeshua either quoted directly from the Septuagint or else He quoted from an older Hebrew version that happened to agree with the Septuagint, a version that is at odds with much of the Hebrew text available to us today.  Some people have a problem with the chronology of the Septuagint text.  I know I used to have those same concerns because current versions have Methuselah outliving the Great Flood by 14 years.  It can be shown that older versions have him dying six years before the Flood.[3]

       Some of you may have watched the Creation Debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye back in 2014.  It was pretty big news at the time.  In that debate, Bill Nye argues that if you go with the chronology found in the Bible, the Egyptian pyramids were built be-fore the Flood, yet the pyramids would not have withstood such a cataclysmic event; not only that, they exhibit no signs of any water damage.  This is not some wild speculation on Mr. Nye’s part, this is dating done by expert chronologists – and Bible-believing chronologists have no credible answer, unless they turn to the chronology found in the Septuagint.  Ken Ham, who doesn’t seem to hold the Septuagint on the same level as the Hebrew Masoretic Text, had no answer to Bill Nye’s claim.  Yet, if Ken Ham would have presented the chronological dating as found in the Septuagint, he could have shown that the pyramids were built some 400 years after the Flood, which gave the world sufficient time to repopulate itself with enough laborers to build both the Tower of Babel and the pyramids.  If you want to check into this further, there’s a great YouTube video out there called “Were the Pyramids Built Before the Flood?”  Check it out!  Prove all things![4]

      My point is this:  The Hebrew scholars who translated the Septuagint into Greek long before Yeshua was born, understood that among other things, He was an angel.  Here’s what the Septuagint reading of Isayah 9:6 says:

 6 For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon His shoulder: and His name is called the Messenger of Great Counsel (megales Boules aggelos): for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to Him.

       The Greek word aggelos is the same word translated “angel” throughout the New Testament.  This means the Hebrew scholars who translated the book of Isaiah into Greek understood that the Ruler whose coming is prophesied in chapter 9, verse 6 is an ANGEL.

       Chuck does not agree with the Hebrew scholars who translated the Septuagint, at least not with the way they translated Isayah 9:6.  In his attempt to prove that Yeshua wasn’t an angel, Chuck cites verses from such passages as Hebrews 1:5-8 as evidence that Yeshua could NOT have been an angel.  Here’s what it says:

5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?  And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of Yahweh worship him.

7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O Elohim, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

      I could continue through the remainder of the chapter, but for the sake of time we can stop here.  Chuck is persuaded that in this passage of the book of Hebrews, the Almighty is distinguishing His Son from the angels in such a way as to validate believing He wasn’t an Angel at all.  Indeed, Yahweh has ascribed worship to His Son by the angels, so that is a distinguishing mark and none of the other angels can lay claim to being Yahweh’s firstborn Son, nor will any of them sit at Yahweh’s right hand.  But does that mean Yeshua is not or was not an Angel?

 

        Since Yahweh has ascribed worship to His Son by angels, does this mean Yeshua Himself could never have been an angel?  No!  Think of it like this:  Of all the United States Presidents, which one was later chosen to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?  If you answered William Howard Taft, you got it right.  Since only William Howard Taft, out of ALL the United States Presidents, could lay claim to being Chief Justice of the United States’ Supreme Court, does this mean he wasn’t a President of the United States?  Of course not!  Just as a United States President was also Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in the same way, in addition to being Yahweh’s Son, Yeshua was also an angel.  But here again, Chuck denies this because once again, he interprets the Old Testament in light of the New Testament, they very thing we should guard against doing.

 

 The Unnecessarily Redundant Yahweh?

       Maybe some of you are wondering why it’s so important that we recognize Yeshua as having been an Angel.  I would love to go into all the details, but due to time constraints, I will only remind you of some Biblical narratives that most Bible students are already familiar with.  In Genesis chapter 18, we read about Yahweh appearing to Abraham and visiting with him, not only telling him that his 90 year-old wife would have a son, but that He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. 

      In fact, when the destruction occurred, we read in Genesis 19:24 that Yahweh literally rained down brim-stone and fire from Yahweh.  That’s right, Yahweh rained down brimstone and fire from Yahweh.   On the surface, the appearance of that second “Yahweh” in verse 24 might seem unnecessarily redundant.  Some would say it should have been written that Yahweh rained down brimstone and fire from Himself.  But that’s not what it says.

       In his book, Chuck dismisses the fact that Yahweh rained down brims-tone and fire from Yahweh by citing some Biblical examples of what appear to be the same redundant textual reading, this time involving humans (King Solomon and King Rehoboam).  Do those human examples mean Yahweh couldn’t have rained down brimstone and fire from Yahweh?  Of course not, but Chuck will not acknowledge such a possibility.  He concludes, “There were not two Yahwehs any more than there were two Solomons or two Rehoboams.”[5]  Chuck’s conclusion is that instead of there being two Yahwehs in Genesis 19:24, it’s the same “redundant” Yahweh – the same Yahweh mentioned twice.  He then cites a couple of human examples, where men such as King Solomon have their names used redundantly, as in when Solomon assembled all the elders of Israel to Solomon (1 Kings 8:1).  It surely is unnecessarily redundant to state that Solomon assembled all the elders to Solomon because there most certainly weren’t two Solomons, so there likewise couldn’t have been two Yahwehs!  Or so he reasons.

      In response to Chuck’s comment that there weren’t two Yahwehs any more than there were two Solomons or two Rehoboams, I would ask, “Are you sure?”  The ancient believers whose writings I came across in my research did not agree with Chuck’s conclusion about the “Two Yahwehs.”  For example, in his Dialogue with Trypho, Second-century theologian Justin Martyr wrote: 

And now have you not perceived, my friends, that one of the three [angels], who is both Elohim and Kurios, and ministers to Him who is in the heavens, is Kurios [Lord] of the two angels?  For when [the angels] proceeded to Sodom, He remained behind, and communed with Abraham in the words recorded by Moses; and when He de-parted after the conversation, Abraham went back to his place.  And when He came [to Sodom], the two angels no longer conversed with Lot, but Himself, as the Scripture makes evident; and He is the Kurios [Lord] who received commission from Kurios [Lord] who [remains] in the heavens, i.e., the Maker of all things, to inflict upon Sodom and Gomorrah the [judgments] which the Scripture describes in these terms: “Kurios rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from kuriou out of heaven.[6]

      Justin Martyr isn’t the only ancient theologian who wrote that Yahweh (i.e., one of the three angels) rained down brimstone and fire from Yahweh (the Most Supreme High Elohim).  Tertullian and Ignatius, in their writings, expressed agreement with what we read above.  We will see later in this study that Justin Martyr’s testimony means nothing to Biblical Unitarians, who, instead of producing alternate testimony from other ancient believers that might cancel out or override Justin Martyr’s understanding, resort to attacking those whom I found supportive of my position.

      It bears noting that the two examples Chuck cites involving humans don’t always work if you read the same accounts in the Septuagint.[7]  But the Septuagint does have Yahweh raining down brimstone and fire from Yahweh.  So how did Yahweh rain brimstone and fire down from Yahweh?  Is it possible that an Angel who bore the name Yahweh rained down brimstone and fire from Yahweh?  Could that Angel have been the One we know as Yeshua?  We already know from his book that Chuck agrees that angels could bear the name of Yahweh.  If Yeshua was an Angel, He could have gone by the name Yahweh.

      The other conundrum with Yahweh visiting with Abraham and Sarah, then later leading Lot and his daughters out of Sodom and Gomorrah, is the fact that all these people should have died the moment they laid eyes on Yahweh.  That’s because no one can see Yahweh and live!

      When we understand that no one can see Yahweh and live, we have to deter-mine how in the world people saw Yahweh and lived Abraham saw Yahweh and lived.  So did Sarah.  So did Lot.  And what is the explanation?  Chuck says the “Yahweh” who visited with Abraham was an angel who bore the name “Yahweh.”  And I agree!  But that’s where our agreement ends because I don’t think it was just any angel who bore the name Yahweh; no, there is only one Being who could bear the name Yahweh; that Being was Yahweh’s firstborn Son, who we would later know as Yeshua in His flesh and blood form.  Yeshua was the physical manifestation of Yahweh.

       I could go into detail about others who saw Yahweh and lived, but for the sake of brevity, I will only mention the account of where Jacob wrestled with a man and when the fight was over, he knew that he had seen the Almighty – and yet lived.  I covered the account of Jacob wrestling the angel in Part I, but it certainly fits right in with this portion of my presentation as well.  The question is, “With whom did Jacob wrestle?”  I maintain that he wrestled with a Man who was in the form of an Angel, the physical manifestation of Yahweh.  Contrary to Chuck Henry’s conclusion, this was not an “agent of Yahweh,” this was very Elohim – the physical manifestation of Yahweh upon Whom mankind can look in the eye without fear of death.

        In Part I, I also covered the account of Moses’ famous encounter at the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3.  The question is, “With whom did Moses speak?”  He obviously spoke with Yahweh, because the voice from the bush identified Himself as the Almighty of Abraham, the Almighty of Isaac and the Almighty of Jacob, and when Moses later asked, “When the children of Israel ask who sent me to them, what shall I say to them?  What is His name?” the voice answered, “TELL THEM YAHWEH, the Almighty of our fathers, the Almighty of Abraham, the Almighty of Isaac, and the Almighty of Jacob has sent me to you!  This is my name forever!”

       So the Being who spoke with Moses from the burning bush was Yahweh, right?  I mean, he just said His name is Yahweh, so it was Yahweh, right?  Well, no it wasn’t, it was an Angel who bore the name Yahweh because according to Exodus 3:2, it was an Angel who appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.

       So to which Angel would Yahweh have said, I choose you to be the physical manifestation of Myself to Moses from the midst of a bush that burns and yet is not consumed by the fire?  To which Angel?  I can only think of one, His firstborn Son, the One we would later know as YESHUA.

       But hey, if you don’t want to believe the Angel who visited with Abraham was Yeshua, that’s fine.  If you don’t want to believe the Angel who wrestled with Jacob was Yeshua, that’s fine.  If you don’t want to believe the Angel who spoke to Moses from the burning bush was the One we would later know as Yeshua, that’s fine.  But do know this:  Yeshua. was. an. Angel!  Please pay special attention to what the prophet Malachi had to say about two special messengers and yes, the Hebrew and Greek words are the words commonly translated as ANGEL.  Angels are messengers Let’s turn to Malachi chapter 3: 

1 Behold, I will send MY MESSENGER (malachi, or my angel), and he shall prepare the way before Me:  And the Master (adon) whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the MESSENGER (malach, or angel) of the covenant, who ye delight in:  behold, He shall come, saith Yahweh of hosts.

 

       Please note that there are two angels in this verse.  One prepares the way.  That can be none other than John the Baptist.  The other Angel is referred to as Adon AND as Angel of the covenant, and comes into His temple!  Which Angel has a temple?  Verses 2-3 give us more information about this Angel: 

2 But who may abide the day of His coming?  And who shall stand when He appeareth? 

       Please hold your place right there, and let’s flip on over to Revelation 6:17.  Let’s answer the question of whose “coming” is being referred to.  Who may abide the day of whose coming?  To whom do the words “HIS COMING” refer?  I would love to read the whole chapter to give complete context to the setting being described in Revelation chapter 6, but time does not allow it, so let’s just read verse 17: 

17 For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 

       I don’t think we should need to read the rest of Revelation chapter six to know to Whom the “great day of His wrath” refers.  This is what is commonly known as the “Second Coming,” when Yeshua returns, and He won’t return as a lowly, humble servant this time.  Okay, let’s go back to Malachi, chapter 3 and pick up where we left off.   Let’s start again with verse 2: 

2 But who may abide the day of His coming?  And who shall stand when He appeareth?  For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap.

3 And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:  and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto Yahweh an offering of righteousness. 

     Okay, now who are we talking about?  Who is like a refiner’s fire?  Well, John the Baptist knew.  Let’s turn to Matthew 3:11: 

11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:  HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND FIRE:

12: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with UNQUENCHABLE FIRE

       So who exactly is this Angel who is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap?  By the way, if you research what fuller’s soap is, let’s just say it makes sheep’s wool as white as snow.  Whoever this Angel is, He is able to purify.  This sounds like someone who is waaaay more than just an “agent” to me!  The prophet Isaiah had an idea of Who this purifier is.  Please turn to Isaiah chapter 4.  It’s a short chapter with only six verses, but I only have time to read two.  Let’s read verses 3-4: 

3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

4 When Yahweh shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and BY THE SPIRIT OF BURNING. 

       It almost sounds as though Yahweh and the Angel are prophesied to accomplish the same thing!  Or could it be that an Angel Who is the physical manifestation of Yahweh will purge Jerusalem?  Let’s go back to Malachi chapter 3.  Who is that second Angel?  The first angel/messenger is a human named John the Baptist.  I don’t think John the Baptist had a pre-carnal existence.  But who’s the second Angel?  The second Angel can be none other than Yeshua, the same Angel prophesied about in Isaiah 9:6.  Please know and understand that in his book, Chuck Henry adamantly denies the claim that Yeshua was an Angel, and that’s why this point is so important. 

       The combined prophecies of Isayah 9:6 and Malachi 3:1-2 present a powerful demonstration of who the Messiah is, and I would like to thank my daughter Colista for bringing them to my attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some additional slides from the presentation: 

      Once again, I understand that incorporating all the slides from my PowerPoint presentation will prove too much of a distraction for some folks, plus I do not mean to have my slides competing with the text.  To that end, I’m furnishing some slides from the actual presentation, not only as visual aids, but for emphasis purposes: 

1.  According to the Hebrew scholars who translated Isaiah 9:6 into Greek, the coming Ruler would be an Angel.  I added a few bullet points for the skeptics who have little or no regard for the Septuagint:

2. The slide below shows an English translation of the Septuagint’s Isaiah 9:6, revealing that the coming Ruler would be an Angel:

 

3.  The following slide has such a small amount of text, but it’s important for us to understand how the question needs to be answered.  According to Biblical Unitarians, the question is rhetorical, as in Yahweh would never have told a mere “angel” that he had begotten him!   But to me, it’s a valid, legitimate question with an obvious answer.  To which Angel did Yahweh ever say, “Thou art My Son!  Today I have begotten Thee!”?  Answer:  Yeshua the Messiah.  The same “Angel” of Whom the prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 9:6. 

 

4.  I included the following slide for emphasis purposes.  To this Angel the Almighty said, “Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee”:

 

5.  Incredibly, I incorporated the following slide into my debate presentation while omitting the following critical questions:  “To Whom does Moses refer in Deuteronomy 4:6?” and “Who’s the ‘Speaker’ in Isaiah chapters 43 – 45?”  I think my wife did a superb job of answering those questions in her contribution to chapter X of Part I.

  

6.  This slide was another important slide that I’m afraid a biased videographer would prefer for viewers to not see because it connects two verses from the Tanakh confirming and reinforcing that the coming Ruler would be … (gasp!) an Angel:

      This brings us to the next segment of my debate presentation:

 Up next Chapter 5          [Previous chapter]          [Back to Intro]



[1] C.f., Judges 2:1, where we read, “The Angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.”

[2] C.f., The Tetragrammaton in the LXX,” by W. G. Waddell, The Journal of Theological Studies, Volume OS-XLV, Issue 179-180, July 1944, Pages 158–161.

[3] I address the resolution to the Septuagint’s alleged “dating problem” in a Ponder Scripture Newsletter article titled “Evolutionist Exposes Critical Flaw in Hebrew Bible,”

[4] I also devoted a Ponder Scripture Newsletter article towards a discussion of this same topic.  Titled “Evolutionist Exposes Critical Flaw in Hebrew Bible,” it addresses the chronology of the Septuagint, and is available online.  You can access it here.

[5] Chuck Henry, Trinity, Oneness, Duality & Pre-Existence, H.V. Chapman & Sons Bookbinders, Abilene, TX, 2018, p. 337.

[6] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. LVI.  This writing is available online at the following link:  www.newadvent.org/fathers/01285.htm.

[7] The first example cited by Chuck is 1 Kings 8:1, where Solomon assembles the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon.  In other words, Solomon assembled everyone to Solomon.  The name listed is unnecessarily redundant in the Masoretic Text.  However, Solomon’s name only appears once in the LXX reading of 1 Kings 8:1.

 

 

Click here to access a full-length PDF file of this study.

 

 

First Publication, June 28, 2020

Edited August 16, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

A Truth Seekers Publication

Plano, Texas  75074-6010

 

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This is the name of our Creator, Yahweh, sometimes called the Tetragrammaton.  It is given here in (A) the Phoenician script, (B) the Ivrit Kadum (Paleo-Hebrew) script, and (C) the Modern Hebrew script (a stylization of Aramaic).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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