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Old 09-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #131
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: What is God's Economy?

Originally Posted by Igzy View Post

I always get confused by the messenger angel idea. When does God use an angel to talk to us and when does he just talk to us directly, and why would he need both?

"I am Gabriel, I stand before God". Angels are messengers. In the text it often is confusing, to us, because the writers often don't clearly delineate as our theological notions would prefer. We like clear-cut, but in the text we see an angel send Philip to the South Road, then the Spirit (ministering spirit?) sends Philip up to a chariot with an Ethiopian eunuch.

The expelled Hagar tells the angel, "Now God has seen His servant's distress", but she isn't speaking to God directly, but to God through the mediatory angel (so I surmise). So John's "seven eyes of God" may be angels. Possibly. God sees the servant Hagar through the servant angel.

And the NT record repeatedly tells us that the law was given through the intermediary agency of angels, but the OT record seems not to indicate this at all.

Anyway, I don't have a clear answer. But to summarily say that the "messenger" of Revelation 1:20 is a man, not an angel, seems a bit presumptuous, and overly hopeful. Our theology may prefer it, because we like our theology neat.

The best I can do is point to the typical narrative structure of the parable in the NT gospel record. A man, a rich man, or a king, had servants, and He (God is the understood allusion) gave them instructions and sent them off. A rich man doesn't do everything for himself, but has agents to do his bidding. God, of course, is very rich, and has tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands of servants, both men, angels, and whatnot (living creatures? Elders?) who all do His will. But the key, here, is not "whether angels or men" but whether clarity or not. Only transparent servants qualify. If we muddy up God's will with our own, we fail. Transparency is key. The eyes of the Lamb are always clear. Look at how the wheel of Ezekiel 1 and the four living creatures in Revelation 4 are full of eyes.

My point is that these messengers tell us about God, and tell God about us. They go back and forth. "Angels ascending and descending."

I am sure I didn't help your confusion and for that I apologize. I'm not sure that the biblical text gives the clarity we'd prefer. But in short I'd say that God, being holy, prefers to use intermediaries. Otherwise we'd get vaporized like smoke.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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