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Jesus Is The God
of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob


No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John 1:18  KJV
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, [or the Only Begotten] who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
John 1:18  NIV
This is a strong statement, that no person has ever seen God Almighty at any time. It is supported by other statements in both the Old and New Testaments. In addition, if one did see the face of God, the result would be death. The Bible appears to record the stories of several people who believed they saw God and lived, including Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Moses. Is the Bible contradicting itself? If these people did not talk with God, then who did they talk with?


No One Sees God

Verse
NIV
Notes
Ex  33:18-20
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, ... But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
The Lord warns Moses that no one may look at God's face and live.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
No person has seen God - no exceptions.
John 6:46-48
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.
Only Jesus, the one sent from God, has seen God the Father.


Verse
KJV
Notes
John 1:17-18 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Jesus clarifies that the "god" Moses spoke to was not the Almighty, but Jesus, the son of God who declares and makes the Father known.

We see here that Jesus himself is clarifying for us what Moses understood. Jesus is Lord and God's messenger. He speaks with God's authority. When you take a careful look at the first time the word LORD is used in the book of Exodus it is found in Ex 3:2, when Moses sees the burning bush for the first time. Moses recognizes that it is the "angel of the LORD" and not the Lord Himself. (The Hebrew for "angel" means "messenger".) The NIV footnote for verse 3:2 states "angel of the Lord. Used interchangeably with 'the LORD' and 'God' in v. 4". Judges 6:22 is another example of this equating of terms when Gideon sees an "angel of the LORD" and then address it as "Lord GOD". Therefore, we can see that Moses subsequent references to the LORD are actually references to the angel of the LORD, to God's messenger. This supports what Jesus is saying, that Moses was not seeing and talking directly with the Almighty. So who is this "angel of the LORD"?


Verse
NIV
Notes
Ex  3:2-6
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 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.
The angel of the LORD identifies himself as the God of Abraham.

If Moses could look at him and live,
then it must not be the Almighty, even though it is the God of Abraham.
Gal 3:19
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
Paul also knew it was not the Almighty.
See 1 Tim 2:5

Some Who Thought They Saw God

Verse
NIV
Notes
Gen 16:7-13
The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; ... Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.” ... She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
FN to ver 13 says, "To see God's face was believed to bring death." While Hagar did not realize she was talking with the angel of the LORD, the author knew the difference.
Gen 32:24-30
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. ... Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
Jacob believed he saw
God face to face
but
Hosea 12:4
makes clear that
Jacob "struggled with the angel".

Who Is This Angel of the Lord?

Verse
NIV
Notes
Gen 16:7, 10
The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; ... The angel added,
I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”
The angel of the Lord will increase Hagar's descendants.
Gen 22:15-18
The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
The angel of the Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice his son.
Ex  3:2-14
There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. ... God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he 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. ...
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
The angel of the LORD identifies himself to Moses as:
The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob
and also as:
I AM
Ex 14:19-20
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. ...
The angel of God protected the Israelites.
Ex 23:20-22
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.
The angel protecting the Israelites has God's name in him.

Note: Jesus speaks of preparing a place in John 14:2-3.
Judges 2:1
The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,
The angel of the Lord:
- Brought them out of Egypt
- Promised land
- Made a covenant
Judges 13:18
And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?  (KJV)
... “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding."  (NIV)
The angel of the Lord has a special name.
Zech 3:1-2
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?”
The angel of the Lord has chosen Jerusalem as his holy city.


Upon close inspection we see that this "angel of the Lord" is actually the person that people in the Old Testament are speaking to rather than the Father. I don't recall any of my early church training pointing out this distinction, yet there it is. If we assume this frequently seen messenger from God is the same person, then what are his characteristics?


Characteristics of the Angel of the Lord

Is the angel speaking of himself or as a representative for God?


Verse
NIV
Notes
John 8:54-59 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Jesus distinguishes himself from the Father,
Questions if the Israelites know which God they worship,
And equates himself
w/ I AM

Verse
NKJV
Notes
Ephesians 3:9-12 ... to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
Jesus created our world with the power from God
Hebrews 1:1-4
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 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 at 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.
Another reminder that God did not speak directly to his people but through the prophets and Jesus.
And another statement that our worlds were made through Jesus.

If Jesus is the I AM who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, the one who created our worlds, the one who brought the Israelites out of Egypt, the one who made a covenant with Abraham and promised him many children and land, then we are lead to the conclusion that Jesus is the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the one the ancient forefathers walked with and spoke to directly. For they could not have seen God the Father directly, as we have shown here. They were talking with the messenger and representative of the Lord God Almighty, the Messiah.

I find it interesting that apparently an early Christian "alternate view" known as Gnosticism came to the same conclusion that the God of the Old Testament, the one who spoke directly to the Patriarchs, was not the Almighty Creator of the universe. However, it seems they did not understand that it was Yahshua (Jesus) and that they came to a different conclusion as to who that god was (is). I've heard they believed it was Satan (which led to the view of all matter being evil), so if true, then to my eye that was the wrong conclusion and it had a tremendous negative impact on their theology, clouding any elements of truth.

 
Other Names for the God of Israel

Verse
KJV
Notes
Gen 49:18, 24-25 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
The God of Jacob is also called the Shepherd and Stone (or Rock) of Israel.
He is helped by the Almighty.
[Note: Hebrew for "salvation" is yeshuah.]

Verse
NIV
Notes
Exodus 24:9-11 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
FN: ate and drank. A covenant meal (cf. Ge 26:30; 31:54), celebrating the sealing of the covenant described in vv. 3-8. It foreshadows the Lord’s Supper, …
[This hints at this god being Jesus. It is not the Father, for they saw him and lived.]
Deut 32:1-19
Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame they are no longer his children,
    but a warped and crooked generation.
... Remember the days of old; ... When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. For the LORD’S portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance. In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them on its pinions. The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him. ...
Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior. They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. They sacrificed to demons, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear. You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
The Song of Moses:

The Lord,
the Most High,
is called
the Rock, our Savior

[KJV: Rock of his salvation.
Again: Hebrew for "salvation" is yeshuah]


Here the Rock
is also identified as
the one who created us.
Ps 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
    He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
The Lord is
my Rock and Salvation.
Ps 28:1
To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me.
    For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.
The Lord is my Rock.
Ps 45:7
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
The Father and the Son
are two separate gods.
(See also Heb 1:8-9)
Ps 61:1-4
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
God is my rock.

[KJV: tent is tabernacle.]
Ps 89:1-29
I will sing of the LORD’S great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’”
... Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: ... I have found David my servant; ... and through my name his horn will be exalted. ...
He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. ... I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.
The Lord,
who made a covenant,
and is the Rock,
and who will be the king of kings,
is also God's firstborn.

This describes Jesus.
Ps 95:1-3
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
The Rock of our Salvation
is also called the
King above all gods.
Ps 136:1-3, 10-11
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt  His love endures forever.
and brought Israel out from among them  His love endures forever.
The one who brought the
Israelites out of Egypt
is also called
the God of gods
and Lord of lords.

From our understanding of the New Testament, we know Jesus to be the Shepherd of God's people and the Rock of Salvation. There is another very profound way in which to see that Jesus is indeed the God of the Old Testament.

The Marriage Covenant

Verse
NIV
Notes
Ex 19:3-6
Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
The purpose of God's marriage covenant is to create a nation of holy people.
Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband — the LORD Almighty is his name—
    the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.
Our Maker is our Husband.
Jer 3:14-15
“Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
The Lord is our Husband.
Ephesians 5:29-32
After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Christ is married to the Church.
Rev 19:6-9
... “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’”...
The bride of the Lamb are the saints of his church.


The God of Abraham entered into a covenant and married the nation of Israel, a congregation of people pledged to be faithful to God. Jesus is betrothed to the church, a congregation of people pledged to be faithful to God. This marriage between God and Israel in the Old Testament is the same marriage we find between Jesus and the church in the New Testament and is another proof that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


In Summary

The Bible is consistent; however, sometimes it takes very careful study to see and demonstrate this principle. The Bible is clear that there are at least two distinct gods: the Father who is the Creator of all and the Messiah who is the anointed son of the Father. They are both gods and both distinct persons. This creates confusion for a religion that claims to be monotheistic, so at one point the church created the concept of the Holy Trinity to change two gods (actually three) into one god. But the Trinity concept is not the truth, and further, it is a bad concept for it obscures the truth of who we are and it causes division among religions. The important point for those who take the Bible as their source is that there is one Supreme God, the Father and Creator of all who is above all other gods. The first commandment is stated exactly this way, and it assumes that there are other gods. All other gods get their power from the Father.

Seeing the distinction between the Father and His anointed son, the Messiah, is challenging in the Old Testament, but it is there. As this web page has shown, when someone was talking with “god” they most often was actually talking with the “angel of the Lord”. The Hebrew for angel means “messenger” and the Hebrew word for Lord is YHWH, best transliterated as Yahweh but often mistranslated as Jehovah (Strong’s version).

The person who is the “angel of the Lord” is the messenger for the Father, for Yahweh, the Creator of all. Most people who recognize some Hebrew terms know that YHWH is the word reserved for the Father, the Creator of all. As this web page has also shown, once the angel of the Lord has been introduced, it is often subsequently addressed as just LORD, the term usually reserved for the Father. So unless you are keeping careful track of this shift, it can be very misleading when for many chapters the Bible records the angel as saying: “And the LORD said”. Also, remember that Jesus comes in the name of the Lord, in the name of YHWH (Ps 118:26).

So the message of the Father, the Almighty, is heard loud and clear through the voices of God’s various messengers, despite the fact that He has not spoken with any of us humans directly. In any particular case, if we have any doubt that it is God’s messenger who is speaking rather than the Father, we also have the general principle that no one can see God the Father directly and live. If the language or context is not clear, we can count on the overall principle to still apply.

Knowing that no one in the Bible but Jesus has seen God the Father directly and that most actually spoke with the angel of the Lord, let’s look at the many names of this angel:

The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob
I AM that I AM
The one who choose and protected Israel under its wings
The one who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and protected them
The Rock of our Salvation
The one who Fathered us humans
The one who entered a marriage covenant with Israel and the Church


Since both Ephesians 3:9-12 and Hebrews 1:1-4 make clear that God the Father gave His anointed son the power and authority to create our worlds, it is Jesus who is the god and creator of the world as we know it. This is consistent with the Old Testament when it says that the angel of the Lord, not the Lord Himself, is the god who fathered us. The Father created the son who then, in a sense, created us. So the god who married Israel is the same god who married the church and we can now see that we have one marriage covenant with the Messiah that is consistent through the whole Bible.

Isaiah sings the praises of the Messiah in chapters 9-12. "For unto us a child is born ...". In 11:2, Isaiah states that the Spirit of the Lord rests upon and empowers the Messiah. Some rabbis have used this understanding to interpret Genesis 1:2 with Messianic overtones. The same word for Spirit is used in Genesis describing the force that begins to reshape the earth after some previous judgment. This is followed immediately by the creation of the light, which also has Messianic meaning (See God's Master Plan of 7,000 Years for more detail).

Genesis 1:1 describes the original creation. Genesis 1:2 picks up sometime later after the earth becomes void and formless. Then the Spirit of God, not God Himself, begins the reshaping of the earth. We have here an interpretation of Genesis that sees the introduction of the Messiah from the very beginning and his role in forming and shaping our world and ourselves. This world and our destiny become his responsibility to guide our souls to maturity.

In reflecting upon the whole message of the Bible and the impact of this interpretation, I'd like to propose an alternate view of how Genesis describes our beginning. Let us assume that the eternal Father, Yahweh, is the one who created His anointed son the Messiah and all other souls including the angels before the foundation of this world (Job 38:21). Job 38:4-7 describes how the sons of God shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. Sons of God is mentioned several times in Genesis and Job, so clearly God the Father has more than one son, but of all His sons one particular son is anointed to be the Messiah, Lord and King over us children. Sometime after the original creation, the earth become void and formless. This is when the Spirit of God, the Messiah, gets involved with reshaping our world. Perhaps it is the hand of the Messiah that may explain the sudden jump in our evolution from Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon man. (Or perhaps it was other beings who created the new breed for selfish purposes but God allowed it because He had a greater purpose in mind. If so, always remember that Our Lord and God has set us free from slavery. We belong to him only and no one else. For more on this view of our origin, see the writings of Zecharia Sitchin.) A short time later, in earth's history, the Bible picks up the story around 4,000 BC during the emergence of the Sumerian culture.

When we accept that Jesus, the Messiah, is the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and accept his role in forming our current world and our bodies, then we see the complete role of this mother eagle who has protected us with her wings. We can see now that the whole Bible is about God's plan for the Messiah to reveal God to us and to lead us to the promised land of harmonious living.


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©2006, 2007 Collins Hamblen
First Posted: 5/19/06
Last Updated: 11/15/07