The Angel of the Lord is still Not God

 

Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

Missionary Sam Shamoun has come up with a ?rebuttal' to my article which proved that the angel of the Lord is not Jesus, nor is the angel of the Lord God. Shamoun's rebuttal can be found on this link:

 

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_angel_of_yahweh.htm

 

My article can be accessed on this link:

 

http://muslim-responses.com/Angel_of_the_Lord/Angel_of_the_Lord_

 

So with that said let us proceed to see if the missionary actually refuted anything, the missionary writes (The missionary's comments will be in green):

Zaatari appeals to Matthew 1:20-21 to show that the Angel of God is distinct from Jesus since the Angel comes to Joseph to announce the birth of Christ.

It is obvious that Zaatari is incapable of refuting our arguments and so has decided to attack a straw man at this point and distort our position. We did not argue that the Angel is God solely because he is called the Angel of God; nor have we claimed that every occurrence of the phrase "Angel of God/Lord" necessarily refers to one and the same entity, or specifically to this particular Angel who is identified as God Almighty all throughout the OT.

Trinitarians have always known that the title, "Angel of God/Lord," could refer to various spirit messengers sent by God and doesn't always refer to the same entity.

The context of Matthew 1 shows that the writer wasn't referring to God's Divine Angel but to one of the many angels whom God sends.

RESPONSE

It seems the missionary is not aware of how bad his response is. Let us quote the context of Matthew chapter 1; in fact I will quote the ENTIRE chapter:

1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;  3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;  4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;  5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;  6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;  7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;  8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;  9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;  10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;  11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:  12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;  13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;  14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;  15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;  16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.  17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

 
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.  20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:  25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. 

 

Shamoun's weak response is that the angel of the Lord which is mentioned in Matthew 1 is simply referring to any other angel, but not THE actual angel of the Lord that we often find in the Old Testament!

 

Tell us Shamoun where in this context does it mention any of what you say? You see folks Shamoun is making EMTPY CLAIMS, he has no proof that the angel of the Lord that is mentioned here refers to any other angel that God sends, he is assuming this and has nothing to back his claim up.

 

I on the other hand am not assuming anything, but going with what we have. In the Old Testament we often see the angel of the Lord specifically mentioned, and now once again in the New Testament we see the angel of the Lord being mentioned! Hence my claims still stand, here we see the angel of the Lord being mentioned and telling Joseph what to do with Mary, and all of this is happening while Jesus is in the womb of his mother. Hence this proves that the angel of the Lord is both distinct and separate from Jesus, which proves that the angel of the Lord is NOT Jesus.

 

Shamoun has to come prove to us that the context here is referring to some other angel, yet he cannot do that because the context says no such thing, Shamoun simply tried to pull a fast one. We can excuse Shamoun from this, since he has no way out of this problem, so he had to employ such a weak response.

 

So with that said Shamoun has miserably failed in refuting my first contention, Jesus is still NOT the angel of the Lord.

 

Shamoun then writes:

 

Zaatari's appeal to agency may explain how the words of an agent can be attributed to the one whom he represents, this Biblical concept cannot account for God's Angel calling himself Yahweh God, receiving the worship of God, and doing the works that God alone can do, as we find in the following verses:

"In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ?Jacob.' I answered, ?Here I am.' And he said, ?Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I AM THE GOD OF BETHEL (HOUSE OF GOD), where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'" Genesis 31:10-13

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, ?I will go over and see this strange sight?why the bush does not burn up.' When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ?Moses! Moses!' And Moses said, ?Here I am.' ?Do not come any closer,' God said. ?Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.' Then he [the Angel who is the LORD God] said, ?I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.'" Exodus 3:1-6

Contrary to Zaatari's assertion, in both of these citations the Angel calls himself Yahweh God and claims to be the God of the very place where Jacob erected and anointed a pillar built for Yahweh!

RESPONSE

Shamoun is now merely repeating himself! We have already addressed these issues, since Shamoun did not understand it the first time, I will be helpful and quote the Jewish encyclopedia yet again:

Agent (Heb. Shaliah): The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum, "a person's agent is regarded as the person himself" (Ned. 72b; Kidd. 41b). Therefore any act committed by a duly appointed agent is regarded as having been committed by the principal, who therefore bears full responsibility for it with consequent complete absence of liability on the part of the agent.

This is how it used to be and understood. As I said Trinitarians like to ignore contextual history, and how things were understood and applied back in the past. They like to come up with their own modern interpretations to back up their false Trinitarian belief.

This is not how it works; hence the Trinitarian has no case.

So since the Israelites and the Jews understood that the agent was the person himself, meaning that if I sent someone to speak for me, or represent me, that person would be me in the sight of the people to whom I sent my agent to.

So when the author identified the angel of the Lord as God or Lord, this all has to do with the concept of Jewish agency! Very simple! This is why no Israelite or Jew ever believed the angel of the Lord was God himself! They always knew the angel of the Lord was an agent and representative of God.

In my last article I quoted passages that prove this point, I will quote them again, from Zechariah chapter 1 verses 10-15

 10And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.  11And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.  12Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?  13And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.  14So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

Notice the angel of the Lord speaks to God, then God responds to the angel, and the angel goes and conveys what God told him! So when the angel said "thus saith the Lord of Hosts" the angel was not referring to himself, but conveying what God told him!

Let us re-quote one of the passages that Shamoun has brought up:

"In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ?Jacob.' I answered, ?Here I am.' And he said, ?Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I AM THE GOD OF BETHEL (HOUSE OF GOD), where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'" Genesis 31:10-13

When we put these verses with Zachariah chapter verses 10-15 we understand how this works. When Jacob sees the angel in his dream, and the angel speaks to him, the angel is merely conveying what God has told the angel, and the angel is relaying the message. Hence when the angel of the Lord is saying I am the God of Bethel, this is not a reference to the angel of the Lord, but this is a reference to the true God and the angel of the Lord is passing the message.

Just like in Zachariah chapter 1 verse 14:

 14So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts

Here we say the angel speaks to Zachariah, and he says thus says the Lord of Hosts, now Trinitarians would have you believe the angel of the Lord is the Lord of Hosts, meaning he is God. Yet we see the full picture in verse 13 which says:

13And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words

And then we put this verse with verse 13:

13And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.  14So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts

So as you can see the angel of the Lord is conveying what God told him!

The same applies with Genesis chapter 31, as well as Exodus 3:1-6.

Shamoun then contends that the angel of the Lord is worshipped:

"Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, ?Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.'" Numbers 22:31-32

Balaam bows down to worship the Angel without the latter objecting to it.

RESPONSE

Balaam was not worshipping the angel of the Lord. He simply bowed down and fell to his face, this does not mean worship. The words that are used for bowed low and fell face down in Hebrew in regards to Numbers 22:31-32 is Qal and Shachah. A Trinitarian website translates these words as:

1) to bow down

a) (Qal) to bow down

b) (Hiphil) to depress (fig)

c) (Hithpael)

1) to bow down, prostrate oneself

a) before superior in homage

b) before God in worship

c) before false gods

d) before angel

 

 

So as you can see these words do not EXPLICITLY mean worship, rather they also mean prostrating oneself to a superior person, such as a king, or a judge etc. It also says that it could also mean bowing to an angel, and this is exactly what we see here, Balaam was bowing himself to the Angel of Lord, as a sign of respect! This is also how the Israelites and the Jews understood it! It did not mean worship; Shamoun is simply making things up based on his false premises.

In fact in the Old Testament, in the Book of Ruth we find that the lady Ruth made Shachah (bowed) to a major figure known as Boaz:

10Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?  11And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. (Ruth 2:10-12)

 

The word used here is Shachah, just like Numbers 22:31-32. As you can see Ruth was NOT worshipping Boaz, who happens to be the father of Obed, who was the grandfather of King David.

 

These people were MONOTHEISTS, not disbelieving polytheists, and Ruth was bowing down to this man Boaz. It was a sign of respect and honor, not a sign of worship.

Shamoun continues:

Zaatari assumes that since the LORD commands the Angel and sends him that this somehow implies that the Angel is not God. It is obvious that Zaatari is operating under the assumption of unitarianism, that God is only one Divine Person, which explains why he erroneously thinks that the Angel cannot be God if he is sent and commanded by God.

RESPONSE

These are not assumptions my friend, but mere facts. The angel of the Lord is subservient to God for the precise reason that he is NOT God! Rather the angel of the Lord is God's representative and messenger, and he is under the command of God.

God is all powerful, and he is under the command of no one else!

Secondly, Shamoun seems to have failed to understand the point that the angel of the Lord is subservient to God. Shamoun believes in the Trinity, and in the Trinity all persons of the God-head are deemed to be EQUAL. Yet the angel of the Lord is NOT equal to God, as we see again in Zachariah chapter 1 verses 10-15:

10And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.  11And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.  12Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?  13And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.  14So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

Notice the way the angel is addressing God, the angel is asking God for how much longer will He not show his mercy to Jerusalem for whom he has punished? This shows and implies that all punishment and mercy rests in the hand of God, and none of it lays in the hands of the angel of the Lord, or else he would not speak like this.

Secondly, the angel of the Lord NEVER sends the true God to do a task for him, the angel of the Lord is ALWAYS sent by God, not the other way round! Last but not least the angel of the Lord is ALWAYS called the angel of the Lord, The angel OF the Lord, which signifies that he is a messenger, agent, and servant of God. God is God!

All of this shows that there is no equality between the two, which disproves the Trinitarian concept of equality between all three persons of the God-head.

The fact is this, the angel is under God's commands, God is not under the angel's command, case closed.

Shamoun then writes this:

After all, even the NT teaches that God the Father sends and commands both the Son and the Holy Spirit

RESPONSE

Exactly, which is why neither the Holy Spirit nor the Son Jesus are God! They are servants of God, and are under God's control, and they do what God tells them to do and what to say.

Shamoun assumes the Trinity exists, hence when he sees that the Father or God sending commands upon Jesus, the Holy Ghost, and the Lord of the angel he assumes this is all good and a bond of equality and working together. Yet sadly for Shamoun this is not the case, this is the case only for him because he has to believe it, and has this pre-conceived idea in his head, yet he knows he cannot prove it and all the texts are the opposite to what he says, and he very well knows this.

Shamoun also writes:

Zaatari further erroneously assumes that since the Angel in Zechariah 1:12 asks the LORD how long will he refrain from showing mercy to Jerusalem this again proves that he cannot be God. I assume that Zaatari mentions this text not just to show that the Angel is subservient to God but to demonstrate that the Angel doesn't know everything and therefore cannot be God.

RESPONSE

You assumed wrong, read my above explanation again for what I meant, it had nothing to do with knowing everything.

The missionary then goes off topic when he writes:

The OT itself speaks of Yahweh sending Yahweh to live in the midst of his people!

"Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!' For this is what the LORD Almighty says: ?After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you?for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty HAS SENT ME. Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. FOR I AM COMING, AND I WILL LIVE AMONG YOU,' declares the LORD. ?Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become MY people. I WILL LIVE AMONG YOU and you will know that the LORD Almighty HAS SENT ME to you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.'" Zechariah 2:7-13

Here is a clear, unambiguous reference to two distinct Persons as Yahweh God, one Yahweh who sends and the other Yahweh who is sent to live among the people!

RESPONSE

This is a red-herring at its best! This has absolutely nothing to do with the angel of the Lord! And furthermore this in no way proves that the angel of the Lord is God!

Perhaps Shamoun is trying to prove his Trinitarian belief here, that there are three Gods, and one God can send another God. Yet remember Shamoun believes that in the Trinity each person of the God-head is EQUAL with the other! Yet this doctrine is not taught in the Bible! All we see in the Bible is God sending his servant that is the angel of the Lord. We also see God sending his other servant Jesus as well, giving him commands of what to say and what to do. No where do we see this happening the other way round, Jesus doesn't send the Father, the angel of the Lord doesn't send God, I repeat against the angel of the Lord is always identified as the angel of the Lord, God is God, not the angel of God!

Secondly, notice Shamoun says Yahweh says he will send Yahweh. Does Shamoun not realize this refutes his Trinitarian doctrine? Yahweh did not say he sent Yahweh the Son, but rather he sent Yahweh, meaning himself! This makes sense as only God can send himself, not someone else sending God. So Shamoun debunks his own Trinitarian doctrine by that statement as well as the verses he uses!

Thirdly, a proper reading of Zechariah chapter 2 verses 6-13 do not prove a Trinity. Let us look at a close examination of the verses one by one to prove this. We start with verses 6-9:

 6Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.  7Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.  8For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.  9For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.

 

As you can see in verses 6-9, specifically in verses 8-9 we see that God sends somebody to the nations that have spoiled the Israelites, basically their enemies, specifically mentioning Babylon in verse 7. So God sends a messenger of his who carries out a punishment to the neighboring hostile nations, and this will serve as a sign and proof that God has sent this person.

Then from verses 10-11 we read:

10Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.

 11And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.

 

In verse 10 we read that God will come and dwell in the midst of Zion, basically in the midst of Jerusalem amongst his people, among the believers. Now Trinitarians believe that the next verse, specifically verse 11 is a continuation of what God will do. Yet that is not so, there are TWO parts to verse 11, we quote verse 11 alone to break down what is actually happening:

 

 11And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.

 

So as you can see many people will be joined with God on the day that he comes to dwell with his believers, this obviously refers to the other nations, and this therefore means there will be a kingdom of God. A kingdom where many people will unite as believers in fellowship to their God. After mentioning this the text goes on to say and those people shall be MY people, now who is my referring to? Is MY referring to God? No, it is not, it is referring to the PERSON that God sends in verses 8-9, the one who carries out a punishment against the enemies of the Israelites.

In verse 11 the one who is speaking is not God, rather it has changed back to the person that God sends in verses 8-9.

 

So basically God will come and live with his people, and there will be a kingdom for God, and the ruler of this kingdom will be a righteous man whom God will send to punish the enemies of the Israelites. Then the ending of verse 11 goes on to say and then the people will know that God has sent me, this is once again referring to the man whom God will send in verses 8-9.

 

So there is many things going on from verses 8-11, and the speaker changes back and forth, between God, and the righteous man whom God will send.

 

Also notice in verses 10-11:

 

10Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.  11And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee,

 

If BOTH verses 10-11 are referring to God alone, then why does he need to tell us TWO times that he will dwell in the midst of us? He tells us this two times within the space of a sentence! We already understood from verse 10 that he will dwell among us, so he doesn't have to tell us this fact again. The fact that this is repeated again is because now the text in verse 11 is no longer referring to God who will live in the midst of us, but rather it is referring to the righteous man whom God will send, basically God AND this righteous man will live among us in this kingdom that is joined by other nations.

 

In fact also notice in verse 10 it says "I will dwell amongst you SAYS THE LORD", yet in verse 11 it says "I will dwell amongst you" and it doesn't end with saying SAYS THE LORD! This further proves that verse 11 is referring to a man whom God will send, and we see this man also being mentioned in verses 8-9. Also the fact that verse 10 ends with "SAYS THE LORD" signifies that the start of verse 11 is someone else speaking and that God has said his part in verse 10, which is why he ends with "SAYS THE LORD".

So to summarize what Zechariah 2 verses 6-12:

 

-God will send someone to punish the nations who have spoilt Israel

-This will be a sign unto the Israelites that God has sent this man

-God will come and live with his believers in Jerusalem

-Other nations will come and join Jerusalem

-These people will be the people of the righteous man, meaning he will rule over them

-The righteous man whom God will send will also dwell amongst these people

 

So yet again the Trinitarian has no case, and either way this is all A BIG RED-HERRING!

 

Shamoun then writes:

Furthermore, if we continue reading into Zechariah we find additional corroboration that the Angel is in fact Yahweh God who intercedes before God on behalf of the elect:

"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, ?The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?' Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ?Take off his filthy clothes.' Then he [the angel] said to Joshua, ?See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.'" Zechariah 3:1-4

Zechariah sees three distinct entities here, namely the Angel, Satan and Joshua the high priest, along with some other angelic beings. This implies that the Lord who rebuked Satan in the name of the Lord was the Angel.

This is not the only place where the Angel is said to be able to forgive sins:

"I am going to send an angel before you, to protect you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Take heed because of him, and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him. But if you diligently obey him, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an adversary to your adversaries. For my angel will go before you, and bring you in to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will cut them off." Exodus 23:20-23 NET Bible

RESPONSE

So Shamoun contends that just because the angel of the Lord forgives sins this makes the angel of the Lord God.

For starters no where in Exodus 23 verses 20-23 do we see the angel of the Lord forgiving sin! This is what we read:

I am going to send an angel before you, to protect you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Take heed because of him, and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions

One could easily argue this proves the angel of the Lord will not pardon the rebels transgressions because he is not God and cannot do so!

Secondly, in Zechariah chapter 3 the angel of the Lord is NOT forgiving any sin! Let us read the passage again:

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

 

Notice the context? Notice the situation? Joshua is clothed with very dirty clothing, and the angel of the Lord then removes the filthy garments, and then right after removing the filthy garments the angel says I have gotten ridden of thine iniquity. The iniquity that is referred to here is the dirty clothes! This is exactly why the angel then goes on to say I will now clothe thee with a change of raiment, basically giving Joshua something new and more pure to wear. The word iniquity that is used here is called avon which can also refer to a person's CONDITION, and Joshua's condition was dirty at the moment, hence the iniquity was referring to that! Nothing to do with sin!

Shamoun then tries to address the issue of the third person:

Zaatari mentions that the Angel refers to the LORD in the third person, i.e. "the Angel answered, ?Here is what the LORD says,'" "the Angel spoke thus, ?The LORD will come down'" etc. He then erroneously assumes that this further proves that the Angel is not God but merely God's spokesperson.

If this logic were sound then this means that even the LORD himself isn't God since he often refers to himself in the third person

RESPONSE

This is a straw man attack, if Shamoun had bothered to see my article in it's FULL CONTEXT he would see the reason why I used the third person argument was because it proved the angel of the Lord was relaying what God had told him. I backed this up by Zechariah chapter 1 which I have already quoted in this argument!

Hence this is what I was claiming:

-The angel of the Lord refers to God in the third person

-He does this because he is God's spokesperson and is relaying what God told him

-The proof of this is in Zechariah chapter 1

No where in Shamoun's rebuttal does he refute my claims on Zechariah one, that the angel talked to God, God talked back, and the angel then conveyed what God told him!

There is a difference if someone chooses to talk in the third person and someone who talks in the third person BECAUSE THEY ARE A MESSENGER!

So therefore in conclusion Shamoun has failed on all of these points:

-Showing Jesus to be the angel of the Lord

-Showing the angel of the Lord to be God

-Refuting my contention that the angel of the Lord speaks to God and God speaks back, which the angel then relays back to the people

-Refuting my contention that the angel of the Lord is sent by God

-Refuting my contention that the angel of the Lord is under the command of God

-Showing the angel of the Lord sending God to do his commands

So therefore I still see no reason as to why I, or any other Muslim, or even a Unitarian Christian must accept the angel of the Lord as being God himself.

And Allah Knows Best!

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