(Continued from page 84)
Nine times in this passage He is referred to as the Angel of 'Jehovah': in verses 3, 9, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21. But then, in verse 22, He is said to be God Himself. Note also in verse 18 that this Angel's name is "Wonderful." So, the WBTS have proven that Jesus is 'the [true] Lord, for the Hebrew for true Lord is ha Adhohn!
In the earlier study of Isaiah 9:6, it was pointed out that pele, the Hebrew word for "Wonderful," is only used of God, never of man, or an angel. The very fact that He claims this name for Himself shows that He is not a common angel, but God Himself. And, of course, the title belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ:
Isa 9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
So who had all of these Old Testament figures been speaking with? Manoah said unto his wife, 'We shall surely die, because 'we have seen God.'
They recognised that they had seen and spoken to God - to 'Jehovah'.
But it could not have been God the Father because we read the words of Jesus:
John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
So none of these appearances of the 'angel' shown to be 'Jehovah' could be God the Father, for He has never been seen by man at any time (John 1:18).
The Angel of the Covenant
We can learn more about the Angel of the Covenant of Judges 2:1 by reading Malachi 3:
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
The messenger of the covenant spoken of here in Malachi is clearly a Messianic reference to Jesus Christ. The word translated as messenger in Malachi 3:1 is the same word (mal'ak) used in the previous passages of the Old Testament where we read the phrase angel of the Lord. So 'messenger' or 'angel' would be a proper translation here.
A careful study of this passage from Malachi 3, using the New World Translation (1984 Ed. and Revised 1970 Ed. of the WBTS, makes the relationship between 'Jehovah' and the Lord Jesus Christ very clear. The cross references to Malachi 3v1 in the Reference Edition of the New World Translation appear as shown here:
'"Look! I am sending my messenger, (*g) and he must clear up a way before me (h). And suddenly there will come to His temple (i) the [true] Lord (ª), (j) whom YOU people are seeking, and the messenger (k) of the covenant (l) in whom YOU are delighting (m). Look! He will certainly come, *Jehovah of armies has said (n).'
Note: *Jehovah - the careful study earlier showed that the insertion of vowels into the Hebrew tetragrammaton JHVH (or, more correctly, YHWH) is entirely arbitrary and, if we claim this to be the true name of God we could more easily argue for 'Yahweh'! But the name given among men that we might be saved IS known - it is the Lord Jesus Christ!
By looking up all the cross-references (small letters in brackets) given for this verse we can obtain a very clear picture of the truths revealed in the passage. Altogether the verse has some eighteen cross-references, by checking all of them we can ensure that we see the clear teaching of this verse. Note that the last clause of this verse shows that the One who is speaking here is *Jehovah God Himself (for it reads: '...*Jehovah of armies has said") and He says:
A. "Look, I am sending my messenger..."
At this point the NWT gives three cross-references at (*g): Matt. 11:10; Luke 1:76; & John 1:6 and they read:
i) Matthew 11:10: 'This is he concerning whom it is written, "Look, I myself am sending forth my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way ahead of you."'
ii) Luke 1:76: 'But as for you, young child, you will be called a prophet of the most high, for you will go in advance before Jehovah to make his ways ready.'
iii) John 1:6: 'There arose a man that was sent forth as a representative of God: his name was John.'
So, from these cross-references, we learn that the messenger of this prophecy was John the Baptist.
Now, continuing in Malachi, we discover the message he brought:
B. '...and he must clear up a way before me.'
At this point the NWT listed a further six cross-references which, in the NWT order of reference, are: Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; John 1:23, 3:28; Acts 13:24, and 19:4.
i) Matthew 3:3: 'This, in fact, is the one spoken of through Isaiah the prophet in these words: "Listen, someone is crying out in the wilderness, ''Prepare the way of Jehovah, YOU people. Make his road straight.''"'
ii) Mark 1:3: 'Listen, someone is crying out in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of Jehovah YOU people, make his roads straight."'
iii) John 1:23: 'He said, "I am a voice of someone cryingout in the wilderness, ''Make the way of Jehovah straight, just as Isaiah the prophet said.''"'
iv) John 3:28: 'You yourselves bear me witness that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent forth in advance of that one.'
v) Acts 13:24: 'God has brought to Israel a saviour, Jesus, after John, in advance of the entry of that One, had preached publicly to the people of Israel baptism (in symbol) of repentance.'
vi) Acts 19:4: 'Paul said, "In what then were YOU baptised?" They said, "In John's baptism."'
So, from these cross-references, we can see clearly that the messenger, John the Baptist, had a job to do, and this was to prepare the way for Jehovah - the Lord Jesus Christ!
Now, returning to Malachi, we can read the reference point of the message for witnesses on earth:
C. '....and suddenly there will come to His temple....'
Here there is just one cross-reference, Matthew 21:12, which reads:
'And Jesus entered into the temple and threw out all those selling and buying in the temple, and overturned the tables of all the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.'
So this cross-reference shows that the prophecy of Malachi was fulfilled by the entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ into the temple at Jerusalem when he cleared out the temple of those who were trading.
Malachi then makes even more clear 'who will come to His temple':
D. '....the [true] Lord,....'
Again we find a single cross-reference: Ephesians 4:5:
'One Lord, one faith, one baptism'
Continuing in Malachi:
E. '....whom YOU people are seeking, and the messenger....'
At this point the NWT gives three more cross-references: Isa. 63:9; Matt 15:24 & Luke 1:69:
i) Isaiah 63:9: 'During all their distress it was distressing to him. And his own personal messenger saved them. In his love and in his compassion he himself repurchased them, and he proceeded to lift them up and carry them all the days of long ago.'
ii) Matthew 15:24: 'In answer he said, "I was not sent forth to any but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."'
iii) Luke 1:69: 'and he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David his servant.'
So the NWT proves that Jesus Christ is the Messiah whom the people were seeking, and of whom Malachi prophesied.
Referring back to Malachi we are reminded:
F. "....of the covenant...."
Here there are two cross-references:
i) Exodus 2v24: 'In time God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.'
ii) Luke 1v72: 'to perform the mercy in connection with our forefathers and to call to mind his holy covenant'
So these two cross-references show that this is part of the covenant that God made with His people - and which we discussed in the early Old Testament passages - a covenant of Mercy that God will never forget.
G. "....in whom you are delighting...."
The one cross reference here is John 12v19:
'Therefore the Pharisees said among themselves: "YOU observe YOU are getting absolutely nowhere. See! The world has gone after him."'
This cross-reference shows that Malachi's prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus, and that it is proven by the complaints of the Pharisees when they saw how popular Jesus was with the ordinary people.
H. "..Look! He will certainly come," Jehovah of Armies has said."
The last cross-reference is to Isaiah 44:26:
'the One making the word of his servant come true, and the One that carries out completely the counsel of his own messengers; the One saying of Jerusalem: "She will be inhabited," and of the cities of Judah, "They will be rebuilt, and her desolated places I shall raise up."'
If we summarise all these cross references from Malachi, we can determine that:
1. the prophet is showing that before anything happens God will send us a messenger to prepare the people for the coming event. The cross reference proves that this was fulfilled in John the Baptist.
2. after the first messenger has come another will come - and this person is "the [true] Lord" who will clear 'His' temple, as well as be the messenger of the covenant, etc. The cross-references shows that this part of the prophecy was fulfilled in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. the third part of this verse makes plain that it is *Jehovah who is speaking here.
The first messenger mentioned in the verse alludes to the man, John the Baptist, who preceded Jesus Christ and prepared the way for Him, but 'Jehovah', the angel of the covenant [discussed in the earlier Old Testament passages], who comes to His temple is clearly Jesus Christ.
So, again, we see Jesus described in Scripture as 'the angel (or messenger) of the covenant'.
So, *Jehovah speaks and says He will send a messenger (John the Baptist) ahead to clear the way for the Lord Jesus Christ - but He makes it clear that the One who is coming is the [true] Lord!
Now, returning to Malachi 3:1, examination of the small triangle (ª) after "the [true] Lord" leads to a footnote that reads: "The [true] Lord." Heb(rew), ha Adhohn'; Greek Kyrios, Lat(in) Dominator. See App 1H."
So, again, we see the WBTS admit that the expression, "the [true] Lord" in Hebrew is ha Adhohn.
To prove these facts further, we can turn to Appendix 1H on page 1568 of the Reference Edition of the NWT (a comparable passage appears in the NWT, 1981 Ed., p. 1450):
"The [true] Lord" Heb., ha Adhohn. The title Adhohn, "Lord, Master," when preceded by the definite article ha "the", gives the expression ha Adhohn, "the [true] Lord." The use of the definite article ha before the title Adhohn limits the application of this title exclusively to Jehovah God. In the Hebrew Scriptures this expression ha Adhohn occurs nine times, namely, in Ex.23v17, 34v23; Isa. 1v24, 3v1, 10v16,33; 19v4; Mic. 4v13; Mal.3v1. The plural of "adhohn" is "adhonim". In m the expression "ha adhonim," "the lords," occurs twice (in Deut 10v17 & Psa 136v3)."
Useful corroborating evidence is also found in the WBTS books: "Aid to Bible Understanding," (page 35, column 2, under Adon, last para.) and "Insight," Vol. II, (page 267, column 2, under Adhohn & Adhonai, para 1).
Returning to Malachi 3v1 with this extra information we now know beyond any shadow of doubt that the WBTS have shown that *Jehovah God is speaking in Malachi 3:1 and that, when He refers to His Son coming to His temple, He gives His Son a title that is absolutely exclusive to Almighty God.
Referring back to the WBTS cross references - A. and B. above - we find that the inspired writer Luke, when quoting Zechariah's prophecy concerning John the Baptist, wrote that Zechariah said, in part, "....for you will go in advance before Jehovah...." (Lk 1:76). The other inspired writers also refer to John's work as being that of "preparing the way of Jehovah" (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3) as does John, who also writes that he is the "the one preparing the way for Jehovah" (John 1:23).
From the evidence we have clearly seen in the Old Testament there is no doubt that Jesus shares the identity of 'Jehovah' and this is the clear reason why "preparing the way of 'Jehovah'" is synonymous with 'preparing the way for the Lord Jesus Christ'!
*Jehovah clearly called His Son by a title that the original Hebrew readers would have recognised as being exclusive to Almighty God? (Malachi 3:1)
Why do the WBTS try and hide the fact that honest Bible Students can recognise:
The One who suddenly comes to the temple is Jesus - Jesus is the [true] Lord who is called 'Jehovah' - and the messenger of the covenant is once again Jesus.
Clearly this 'face value' explanation is unacceptable to the deceptive WBTS, even though their own cross-references make it perfectly clear that the one being referred to is the Lord Jesus Christ.
A further search of WBTS literature reveals how thoroughly this explanation stands up to examination:
Romans 10:13 (NWT) reads:
'....everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.' Examining the verse, and referring to the asterisk after the name *Jehovah, the footnote at the bottom of the column reads "13* See App 1D."
The long appendix on page 1564 continues over-page in the NWT Reference Bible (a similar statement is found in the KIT, 1969, p.18) and should be read in full by all interested in the truth. The first full paragraph in the second column reminds us of the earlier WBTS claim (debunked earlier!), for it reads:
'"Sometime in the second or third century C.E. the scribes removed the Tetragrammaton from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with Kyrios, "Lord" or Theos, "God."'
This appendix informed us that the WBTS have set out to "restore the Divine Name" to the Greek text. The last paragraph, on page 1564, and continuing over-page, explains how this was supposedly done:
'To know where the Divine Name was replaced by the Greek words "kurios" and "theos" we have determined where the inspired Christian writers have quoted verses, passages and expressions from the Hebrew Scriptures, and then we have referred back to the Hebrew text to ascertain whether the Divine Name appears there. In this way we determined the identity to give "kurios" and "theos" and the personality with which to clothe them.'
(Continued on page 86)