Jesus: Not an Angel but the Angel

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Not an Angel but the Angel

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Jesus: Not an Angel but the Angel

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The word “Angel” here can cause confusion, as it is typically used to refer to created spirit beings who are lesser than God. However, the Old Testament Hebrew word from which the word “angel” is translated, malak, simply means “messenger,” as does the New Testament Greek equivalent angelos (from which we get the English word angel ).

We must look at the context to determine whether a human or spirit messenger is meant. In this case, we have the Messenger of God who is also God. Clearly, there is only one entity fitting this description. It is an exact parallel to the Word of God who is also God— the One who became Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3 John 1:1-3 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
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; John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
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).

Consider an Old Testament prophecy declared in the New Testament to refer to John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. God said: “Behold, I send My messenger [ malak, here referring to John the Baptist], and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger [ malak ] of the covenant [that is, Jesus Christ, Mediator of the New Covenant], in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming” (Malachi 3:1 Malachi 3:1Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, said the LORD of hosts.
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; compare Matthew 11:9-11 Matthew 11:9-11 9 But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you. 11 Truly I say to you, Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
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; Mark 1:1-2 Mark 1:1-2 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you.
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 12:24 Hebrews 12:24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.
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).

The “Lord” here is God, for He comes to “His temple.” Yet He is also a Messenger—a malak, the term elsewhere rendered “angel.” Jesus is thus the Lord God. Yet He is also the Messenger of God the Father.

But He is not like the other spirit messengers of God. Jesus had no beginning but is “from everlasting” (Micah 5:2 Micah 5:2But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
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). The other spirit messengers were created (Hebrews 1:7 Hebrews 1:7And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
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). And they were created by Him! (Colossians 1:15-17 Colossians 1:15-17 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
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). He is their Creator—their Lord and God along with the Father.

Some try to equate the archangel Michael with Jesus. But Michael is called “one of the chief princes” (Daniel 10:13 Daniel 10:13But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, see, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
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), hardly a way to characterize the Creator of all other angels. And Michael “dared not” denounce Satan in a dispute over the body of Moses but said, “The Lord rebuke you” (Jude 1:9 Jude 1:9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke you.
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). This just does not fit with the One who made the angel who became Satan and who is Himself Lord along with the Father. Also, there is no association made in Revelation 12 between Jesus as the Child to rule all nations (Revelation 12:4-5 Revelation 12:4-5 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.
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) and Michael mentioned just after (Revelation 12:7 Revelation 12:7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
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).

Jesus, at the end of His human life, prayed, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5 John 17:5And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.
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). Then He returned to “the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You’?” (Hebrews 1:3-5 Hebrews 1:3-5 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
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).

The angels are referred to as “sons of God” by virtue of having been created (Job 38:7 Job 38:7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
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), whereas Jesus became the Son of the Father through being actually begotten of the Father in flesh and Spirit. “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’ … To the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever …’” (Hebrews 1:6-8 Hebrews 1:6-8 6 And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
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).

Jesus “has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Peter 3:22 1 Peter 3:22Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
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).

Clearly Jesus Christ is far above all the angels—yet He is the Angel in terms of being the Father’s Messenger.