283 – FOUNTAINHEADS 5
All the religious denominations and all the theologians categorically affirm that the Bible, that is, the Old and the New Testament, is the word of God. All the churches and all the preachers declare that the Holy Scriptures are the inspired word of God, for the prophets and the apostles spoke inspired by the Holy Spirit of God (1 Pet. 1:21). And Jesus Christ himself, the Incarnate God, has declared: “Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Both the Old and the New Testaments are the infallible word of God, for God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
Jesus, who is God with the Father, has declared: “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit” (Matt. 7:17-18). And James, in his Universal Epistle, says: “Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water?” (James 3:11). To invalidate these two declarations would be to invalidate Jesus Christ, and be skeptical about the inspiration of the Bible. We prepared four studies that prove how two kinds of water issue from Jehovah: sweet and bitter water. Let us analyze the facts about the angel of Jehovah:
1. Jacob declared that the angel of Jehovah delivered him from all evil (Gen. 48:16). It is important to remember that Jacob has never been a model of perfection. By his mother’s counsel he deceived his brother Esau, keeping the blessing of the first born for himself (Gen. 27:6-29). Later, taught by the angel of Jehovah, he deceived Laban, his uncle, misappropriating the flock (Gen. 31:11-12). Even though he was a sinner, the angel of Jehovah kept him and delivered him. Nevertheless Jehovah himself also declares that he would send his angel to keep the people in the way to the Promised Land, but warns: “Pay attention to him, and listen to his voice. Don’t provoke him, for he will not pardon your disobedience, for my name is in him. But if you indeed listen to his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries” (Ex. 23:21-22). Jehovah sent the angel to keep, but the angel neither kept nor forgave, because he is a fountain of two waters: sweet and bitter.
2. When the people of Israel left Egypt, they walked until they were before the Red Sea. Pharaoh had given orders to his armies that they should kill everyone by the sword, without mercy, both men and women, old people and children. That was the vengeance for the death of the firstborn. The people, in desperation, cried out to Moses, for they were trapped between the sea and the furious armies of Pharaoh. Moses raised his staff towards the sea, and the people saw in awe a way open through its waters. Jubilant, the people went right ahead. The Egyptians pressed forward to kill them. The angel of Jehovah took position between the Egyptians and Israel. The angel produced a huge column, dark and fearful to the Egyptians, and bright for the people of Israel. This lasted through the night, and the people went through with dry feet. The column dissipated, and the armies of Pharaoh went forward into the sea. Then Moses put forth his hand and the sea closed in over the Egyptians. They all died. In this case, the angel kept the people of Israel from death. The people partied. They rejoiced. Moses sang a song to the glory of Jehovah. The women sang and danced (Ex. 14 and 15). At another time, Jehovah himself incited David to number the people of Israel, and David obeyed promptly, notwithstanding the opposition of the general of their army, Joab (2 Sam. 24:15). That proves again that the angel of Jehovah is a fountain of sweet and bitter waters, for he once delivered the people of Israel from dying by the hands of the Egyptians, and another time he killed 70,000 innocent people, according to the cry of David: “So Jehovah sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the appointed time; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men” (2 Sam. 24:17).
3. We read in the book of Psalms: “The angel of Jehovah encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them” (Ps. 34:7). When Jacob dreamt about a ladder set on the earth with its top reaching the heaven, and the angels ascending and descending on it, Jehovah said from above it, where he was:“Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you” (Gen. 28:15).And Jacob was really guided and kept by the angel of Jehovah (Gen. 48:16). But the Holy Scriptures amazingly declares that the angel of Jehovah also persecuted David’s adversaries. The text says: “Let those who seek after my soul be disappointed and brought to dishonor. Let those who plot my ruin be turned back and confounded. Let them be as chaff before the wind, Jehovah angel driving them on. Let their way be dark and slippery, Jehovah angel pursuing them” (Ps. 35:4-6). The god of David was private, that is, a tribal god, for he was god only to Israel. The God and Father revealed by Jesus is God to all, his enemies included. “Or is God the God of Jews only? Isn’t he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also” (Rom. 3:29). The Father, whom Jesus revealed, is God of the sinners, not only of the righteous. “But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). The Father, whom Jesus revealed to us, is God also to the enemies. “For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). The Father saves the perverted, the idolaters, the adulterers, the effeminate, the sodomites, the thieves, the greedy, the drunkards, the backbiters, etc.(1 Cor. 6:10-11). In the Old Testament all of these would be stoned to death, or killed by the sword. If the Father wants to save all, and reconciled them to himself by the cross of Christ (2 Cor. 5:19), he was the same who killed the sinners and those who were disobedient. God has changed, but the Bible affirms that God does not change (James 1:17). The angel of Jehovah is a fountain of sweet and bitter water.
4. The angel of Jehovah is the expressed image of Jehovah. Whoever sees the angel of Jehovah sees Jehovah. Moses saw the angel of Jehovah in the burning bush at the foot of Mount Sinai. And Jehovah called out to Moses from the middle of the burning bush. How can this be? If an angel was there, the angel should call out, but it was Jehovah who called out. The answer is a simple one: Wherever the angel is, Jehovah is, too (Ex. 3:1-4). The same thing happened to Abraham. Jehovah asked him his son Isaac in sacrifice. When Abraham raised the knife to slay his son, the angel called out from heaven:“Don’t lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son” (Gen. 22:1-12).
We have another instance in the Old Testament. Balak, king of the Moabites and an enemy of Israel, looked for Balaam, prophet of Jehovah, and offered him gold to curse Israel. Balaam refused the offer, but prayed to Jehovah about the proposal. Jehovah commanded Balaam to go with them. Then, counseled by Jehovah, Balaam went. The angel of Jehovah set himself against Balaam as Satan (Num. 22:22). The donkey saw Satan, but Balaam did not see him. He beat the donkey three times to force it would move on. The angel, then, opened the eyes of the prophet, and said to him: “I have come forth as an adversary [Satan]” (Num. 22:32). WONDERFUL. The angel of Jehovah presents himself as Jehovah when it suits him, and other times he presents himself as Satan. A fountain of water from heaven, and also of water from hell!!!
by Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira