(The FALLEN ONES: Angels, Humans, and Aliens, has been delayed until 2024. It is far too deep for the average Christian, or even theologians, to handle. And in the the next two years I will be making it even more shocking.)
The Angel of the Lord, by Michael D. Fortner
This article is taken from a book I am writing on angels, so it is not fully polished or edited:
Chapter 2: The Angel of the Lord
In the Old Testament, the term “the angel of the Lord” appears many times, which of course refers to an angel of Yahweh. But because of “the” before angel, Christian theologians expect us to believe that this does not refer to an ordinary angel, but to the pre-incarnate Messiah, the Son of God. But this is a mistaken view point.
There was a time when, if a king wanted to send a message to another king, a man would have to travel to that other country to deliver the message. He was of course referred to as the messenger of the king. And there were other uses of the term messenger:
Prideaux observes, that the minister of the Synagogue, who officiated in offering the public prayers, being the mouth of the congregation, delegated them as their representative, messenger or angel to address God in prayer for them, was in Hebrew named Sheliack-Zibbor, that is, the angel of the church; and that from hence the chief of the ministers of the seven churches in Asia, in the apocalypse are, by a title borrowed from the Synagogue, called the angels of the churches. (Clayton, Angelology, page 114)
I will translate the above into normal language: A man would stand up and give a public prayer to God on behalf of the entire congregation. Since this person delivered a message [prayer] to God, he was called the messenger of the Synagoge. Jesus made use of this and called the pastors of the Seven Churches of Asia in the book of Revelation, messengers of the churches. But the word “angel” is not translated into “messenger” in Revelation, so our English translations, and likely others as well, has Jesus saying, “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write” (2:1).
But long before there were messengers of Synagogues and messengers of the churches, there were also messengers of God. The Bible uses the phrase, “the angel of the Lord.” Literally, it says, “messenger of Yahweh” (Jehovah).
But I feel that the best explanation for the use of “the” angel of Yahweh, is, as we have learned above, that the belief in angels existed from the earliest times, and so this belief likely also existed among surrounding people and in connection to their gods. Dr. Michael Heiser says:
In the ancient Near East, the term shedu was neutral; it could speak of a good or malevolent spirit being. These Akkadian figures were often cast as guardians or protective entities. (The Unseen Realm, page 33)
In another place, Dr. Heiser said that Ugarit, a city-state in Syria worshiped a god named El, who was similar to Yahweh, with his own, “the ‘sons of El,’ and messenger gods (mal’akim).” (Ibid, page 46). The ancient Sumerians and Akkadians (4500-1800 B.C.) had clay figures, some were winged, called the apkallu. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible says of the ancient Sumerians and Akkadians:
. . . clay figures of seven apkallu were used with an apotropaic function. . . . placed at the head of the bed of the sick person, the seven bird-apkallu buried against the wall . . . and the seven fish-apkallu, who guard the threshold of the bedroom . . . (page 74)
The word “apotropaic” means they ward off evil spirits, so, these apkallu functioned as guardians.
Moses and the Hebrews doubtless knew about these guardian spirits of other nations, therefore, it is no surprise that the first several times that an “angel” is mentioned in the Bible he is called “the Angel of the Yahweh,” to distinguish him from any of the other guardian spirits that other people believed existed. Even though we know today that other gods do not actually exist, fallen angels still do appear with the intent of deceiving people.
Whether they understood about the existence of fallen angels compared with good angels, cannot be proven either way, but they likely knew that other nations believed in guardian spirits. Even today, if an angel appears we need to know if it is an angel of Yahweh or a fallen angel impersonating a good angel.
But those who are handicapped by theological training believe this phrase refers to the pre-incarnate Son of God, because it says “the” rather than “an” angel of the Lord. But if this is true, then God is his own messenger! (FYI, like most theologians, Dr. Heiser believes the Angel of the Lord was Messiah.) Apparently, there is such a shortage of angels in heaven that God must send the second member of the Godhead to deliver messages to people and do many other things numerous times throughout the Old Testament period! But theologians use faulty reasoning to come to that conclusion. I will examine several instances.
Here is what one preacher wrote:
It is noteworthy and of great interest that the ancient Jews in their traditions regarded the Angel of the Lord, in every instance, not as an ordinary angel, but as the only mediator between God and the world, the author of all revelations, to whom they have the name Metatron. They called him “the angel of the countenance” (see Is. 63:9), because he always sees and beholds God’s countenance, and they speak of him as the highest revelation of the unseen God, a partaker of His nature and of His majesty. They speak of him as the Schechinah. A Talmudical statement declares “the Metatron, the Angel of the Lord, is united with the most high God by oneness of nature”, while another source speaks of him as “having dominion over all created things.” The very ancient Midrash known as Otiot de Rabbi Akiba makes the following declaration about the Angel of the Lord, “The Metatron is the angel, the prince of the face, the prince of the law, the prince of wisdom, the prince of strength, the prince of glory, the prince of the temple, the prince of the kings, the prince of the rulers and the high and exalted.” These ancient Jewish sources identify, therefore, the Angel of the Lord, whom they call Metatron, with the Messiah and as one with God. This was also the view of later Jews. Malachi 3:1 sanctions such an interpretation, the angel of the covenant is Jehovah, and the Messiah is the Angel of the Lord.. . . (Gaebelein, What the Bible Says About Angels. p. 20)
Gaebelein is either misinformed, or not well informed on this subject, because the Jews also believed that Metatron was Enoch. This would make the pre-incarnate Son of God having been Enoch! No, sorry, not buying that.
Just prior to the Flood, the prophet Enoch was transported—while still alive—directly to heaven and transformed, first into an angel, and then into the angel-prince Metatron. In 3 Enoch he describes his transformation: . . .
The Jewish prophet Elijah was transformed into the great angel Sandalphon, who exceeds the height of all other angels “by the length of a journey of five hundred years.” Sandalphon is an angel-prince—the twin brother of Metatron and a master of heavenly song. (Connolly, In Search of Angels, page 98)
Is this the origin of the belief that humans can become angels? And another reference says:
The angel Metraton is the king of angels. Metraton distributes among all princes or angels of the nations their necessaries. . . . Metraton, by some of the Rabbins, is considered as the great personage mentioned in the Old Testament, under the term of “The angel of the Lord,” or “The Angel-Jehovah.” “The Messenger of the Covenant,” specified in Malachi, chap. 3:1. (Clayton, Angelology, p. 199)
But, of course, they have other reasons just as bad for believing that the Angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Son of God; I will just use the title Messiah. Let’s begin with the account of Hagar, Abraham’s servant who fled into the wilderness:
9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly so that they will be too many to count.” . . .
13 Then she called the name of the Lord that spoke to her, “You are the God who sees,” for she said, “Have I now looked on Him who sees me?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. It is between Kadesh and Bered. (Genesis 16:9-10, 13-14)
Here is what a highly respected commentary said:
The angel of Jehovah. This phrase is especially employed to denote the Lord himself in that form in which he condescends to make himself manifest to man. (Barnes Notes)
Here is what the The Wycliffe Bible Commentary says:
This “angel” was not a created being, but Jehovah himself, manifesting himself to Hagar. . . . He identifies himself with Jehovah; he speaks and acts with God’s authority; he is spoken of as God, or as Jehovah. (Charles F. Pfeiffer, and Everett F. Harrison, Moody Press, Chicago, 1962)
After the mention of Cherubim guarding the way to the Garden of Eden, this is the first mention of an angel in the Bible. Though, as mentioned above, the belief in angels is very old and likely goes back before the time of Noah, Hagar did not have a full knowledge or concept of God and his angels. So it is understandable that any divine-like being would be mistaken for God. She is out in the desert and a bright and shinning spirit-being appears to her, it is natural that she thought it was God. Which is probably the reason that during several other appearances of angels, the angels refused to give their names, because the people would have thought it was God’s name.
We must realize that the Bible merely reported what Hagar said and what she believed, that she believed she had seen God. Just because she believed that she saw God, does not mean that she actually did see God. We will see another even better example of this shortly.
All angels speak with the authority of God, because that is what they do, they are God’s messengers, and as a consequence, most of the time they don’t say, “God sent me with this message for you,” though once or twice an angel does say something similar in the Bible. In Luke, an angel appeared to Zechariah, the priest (1:18) and told him that he will have a son, John the Baptist, but the angel did not say, God told me to tell you, but merely said:
“Do not fear, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John . . . He will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. . . .” (Luke 1:13, 16)
Zechariah had doubts, and asked the angel how he could be sure this would happen. The angel was not happy and scolded Zechariah for not believing him:
“I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. And I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things happen, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season. (1:19-20).
WOW! I detect impatience because of Zechariah’s doubt, “How could he possibly doubt my word; I am a high ranking angel!” Then Gabriel identifies himself, and gives the source of his authority, which is that he stands in the very presence of God. He still did not say, God told me to tell you, or even I have come with a message from God. He merely spoke with authority as though he was God; then he told Zechariah where he got his authority.
When an angel speaks, it is as if God were speaking, because they speak with God’s authority. To doubt an angel is almost as bad as doubting God (though we know now that Satan can appear as an angel, so we should be careful about believing any spirit that shows up, as we will see later in the book).
Not only did he speak with God’s authority without having saying God told me to tell you, but when Zechariah doubted, Gabriel had the power to pronounce judgment, apparently without even consulting God on the matter. So angels have the power and authority to not only speak but take action, as though they were God. Some people today have this kind of authority, to act on behalf of someone else; they can buy and sell real estate and sign contracts, all without asking permission from their boss, it is called Power of Attorney. In the same way, Angels have God’s authority.
The messengers of God deliver the words of God in the same way that a prophet does. Prophets do not always preface their words with “Thus says the Lord,” sometimes they just begin to prophesy as if God were speaking, “My people . . .” No one would mistake a prophet for God, so we should not mistake an angel for God.
Gabriel let us know that he was not an ordinary angel, but one who stands in the presence of God, which appears to be the highest rank. The book of Tobit was written by Israelites after they were taken captive into Assyria. In this book the angel Raphael comes to heal Tobit. When he finally identified himself, he said, “I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One” (12:15).
Zechariah 4:10 says, “These seven are the eyes of Jehovah which run to and fro through the whole earth” (MKJV). And in the book of Revelation chapter 4:5, it says: “Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Then in chapter five, Jesus is seen symbolically as a slain lamb (yet standing) with “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.” (5:6). These seven spirits of God are probably seven angels of authority and power that rule over other angels throughout the world. They are helping God fulfill his plan for the world. And since they are called the seven spirits of God, that makes the angels more than mere created beings, but makes them in a certain sense, “sons of God” (a phrase that appears 11 times in the Bible and refers to angels).
So we know that Raphael and Gabriel are two of those seven spirits of God. The Book of Enoch names Raguel, Saraqael, Remiel, Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel, and Michael (***Barakiel, Ramiel, Uriel, Samiel, and Azael, The Apocalypse of Peter). The book called the Word and Revelation of Esdras [Ezra] the Holy Prophet, names, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, and Zebuleon. Then in the Parables of Enoch, Phanuel is mentioned.
The book of Isaiah says, “the angel of His presence saved them” (63:9). But as we just saw, there are actually seven of these angels that stand in the presence of God, not just one.
The book of Hebrews says several times, making a clear point, that the Messiah was NEVER an angel!
5 For to which of the angels did He at any time say: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father”? . . . 6 And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 Of the angels He says: “He makes His angels spirits, and His servants a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, lasts forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” (1:5-8)
Messiah did NOT need to function as an angel in the Old Testament period, because there are seven high-ranking angels that have the authority of God to act on his behalf.
The encounter of Gabriel with Zechariah shows that angels are not all sugar and spice or brimming with love. They can pronounce judgment upon you, but as a general rule, those who fear God do not have to fear being struck down by an angel:
. . . in the apocalyptic representations of St. John, we behold them controlling evil spirits; wielding the elements of this world; producing, directing, and bringing to a termination the great convulsions of time; conveying the souls of the just to the paradise of God, and severing the wicked from the good at the day of judgment. (Clayton, Angelology, page 192-193)
In another encounter in Genesis, Jacob wrestles with an angel (though it was actually a dream) who does not appear as a bright shining angel, but as a man, but afterwards he thinks it is God. The text says,
a man wrestled with him there until daybreak. . . . Then the man said, “Your name will no more be called Jacob, but Israel. For you have fought with God and with men, and have prevailed.” . . . Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “I have seen God face to face, and my life has been preserved.” (Gen. 32:24, 28, 30)
I will make this argument short. Hosea 12:4 tells us that Jacob wrestled with an angel, mal’âk. If he actually saw the face of God then the Bible is boldly in error, because Exodus gives us the words of God himself telling Moses: “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live” (33:20). Yet, in 33:11 it says, “The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” This means God was personally there speaking with Moses, not through an angel, but Moses was not allowed to actually see his face; and neither did Jacob.
Using the excuse that it was not the Father but the Messiah is not sufficient, since the Messiah was and is the second person of the Trinity; God is three in One. So the Messiah is God. But, someone might ask, if Jesus is God how did humans see his face? Only because he was inside of a human body; we were only allowed to see his human flesh.
This leads us to the most difficult verse because it appears to call God himself an angel. When Jacob was on his deathbed he was pronouncing a blessing on his children:
He blessed Joseph and said, “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who fed me all my life long to this day, 16 the angel who redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; . . . (Genesis 48:15-16)
We know that God is not a created being, right? Then it must refer to the Messiah, except that he is NOT a created being either! There are many statements in the Bible that cannot be taken at 100% literal face value, as I have proven in other books. The Promised Land was not literally flowing with milk and honey, and the “whole world” of the Bible does not refer to the entire planet. In the above passage, Jacob was merely recounting the times and ways in which he had encountered God; and one was through the angel he wrestled with. It was not literally God, but one of God’s representatives here on Earth, which are the angels.
I will not deal with every instance of the angel of the Lord, but only a few more, which should be sufficient. In Exodus 23 God told the Hebrews that he will send “an angel before you” to bring them into the Promised Land:
Be on guard before him and obey his voice. Do not provoke him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for My name is in him. . . . 23 For My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will completely destroy them. (v 21, 23)
First, notice that it says, “an” angel, not “the” angel, yet he is still made into the Messiah. The reasoning goes, that if this angel can pardon transgressions, then he must be God. But we know that the angels have the authority of God, they can pronounce judgment and they have been sent out into the world to act on God’s behalf, which means in all things, not merely in some things. A Bible commentary says:
“The name of Jehovah was in this angel; that is to say, Jehovah revealed Himself in Him; and hence he is called in 33:15, 16 the face of Jehovah, because the essential nature of Jehovah was manifested in him. This angel was not a created spirit, therefore, but the manifestation of Jehovah Himself.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the OT)
Notice that the text calls this person “My angel.” Yet, these theologians will argue that Jesus was NOT an angel, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim. So, if the Messiah was never an actual angel, then this cannot be the pre-incarnate Son of God. And if this refers to the second person of the Godhead, then this passage has God speaking of himself in the third-person, since God is three in one, but a singular, not a plural. It would be like you say to your son, “Do as dad said son. Or dad will not be happy.”
Another clear example of my assertion that the phrase “the Angel of the Lord” is merely just a way to say an angel, the Book of Jasher says this:
13. And on that night the Lord sent one of his ministering angels, and he came into the land of Egypt unto Joseph, and the angel of the Lord stood over Joseph, and behold Joseph was lying in the bed at night in his master’s house in the dungeon, for his master had put him back into the dungeon on account of his wife.
14. And the angel roused him from his sleep, and Joseph rose up and stood upon his legs, and behold the angel of the Lord was standing opposite to him; and the angel of the Lord spoke with Joseph, and he taught him all the languages of man in that night, and he called his name Jehoseph. (49:13-14) (from an 1840 translation; eSword software)
While doing research for this book, I learned that there are in fact some Trinitarian theologians who do NOT believe that the Angel of the Lord is Messiah. Such as Rev. V.S.S. Coles, of Oxford, who wrote about this in A Book of Angels, edited by L.P.:
Faithful to the purpose of God, the unfallen angels took at once under their protection fallen man. Through the Old Testament we can trace the times on which this ministry was developed. It was especially a ministry to individuals — Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, the parents of Samson, David, Daniel – to all these the Lord Jehovah was revealed by the acts and words of the Angel who so closely represented Him as to be thought of by some Christian Fathers as if he were himself the Person of the Eternal Son. This opinion must not, indeed, be condemned as certainly false, though we may prefer to follow Dr. Pusey’s thought, who says :
“It seems to me most probable that he was a created Angel … of this Angel God says ‘My name is in him.’  In him were manifested the Divine Attributes: he was the minister of God’s justice, who would not pardon their transgressions; to him God required obedience to be paid. His speaking was God speaking in him . . . Since God was present in him, God uses as equivalent terms the words ‘the angel of his presence’  or ‘My presence,’  the same angel, I think, was meant by Elihu, the ‘angel interpreter.’”
It is most probable that Michael is no other than that Angel of the Lord by whom God manifested Himself of old, for the Angel of the Lord seems to be the same who declared himself to be the prince of the host of the Lord  —a title given in Daniel to “Michael, your prince’’; “one of the great princes”; “the great prince which standeth up for the children of thy people.”  (page 55)
Footnotes: 1] Daniel the Prophet, p. 516. 2] Ex. 23:21. 3] Is. 63:9. 4] Ex. 33:14. 5] Job 33:23. 6] Josh. 5:14. 7] Dan. 10:13-21; 12:1.
It bears repeating that angels have the authority of God, this is basically what God was saying in the above passage, that this angel has His authority to act on behalf of God. Let us look at an example of Power of Attorney, which is a legal document which gives power to another person to act on his or her behalf. Bob is a real estate tycoon and gives Mary the Power of Attorney. Then Bob discovers that Mary has sold a huge office building for $100.00. He cannot legally do anything to her, except fire her, because she had full legal right to sell the building which Bob owned. If you have Power of Attorney, then you can act in ALL ways and in ALL circumstances as though you were that other person.
Now for an especially interesting account; in Judges 13:3,9,13,15-18,20,21 it says “the angel of the Lord” appeared to the wife of Manoah to tell her that she will have a son, Samson. As the custom was, Manoah and his wife prepared a meal for the stranger:
And the Angel of Jehovah said to Manoah, If you keep Me, I will not eat of your bread. And if you prepare a burnt offering, you shall offer it to Jehovah. (v.16) (LITV)
Manoah then asked what his name was, but he refused to give it. Some translations say he said it was “secret,” others that it was “wonderful,” which is one of the names of Christ (Isa. 9:6). It does not actually say what happened, but Josephus said the angel touched the flesh with his rod and fire shot up and consumed it, just the same as what took place on a visit with Gideon (Judges 6:21). We only know that when the flame shot up, then the angel “went up in the flames from the altar” (v.20). When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell down with their faces to the ground.
So there is some evidence, since he accepted the sacrifice and his name was wonderful, I can see how they believe that this was a Christiophany, an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ. However, they are missing a very important point. Next it says something very interesting:
Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.
Opps! “The angel of the Lord” has suddenly become “an angel of the Lord.” And it is the same in all translations. An angel means just any ole angel, not THE super special angel. It cannot be both, if we are to take the special meaning which theologians have given to “the.” But there is more! The next verse says:
Manoah said to his wife, “We are certainly going to die, for we have seen God.” (13:22)
Now, does this actually mean that they saw God or any member of the godhead? No. Did they die? No, he was wrong about going to die so he could have also been wrong about having seen God. Perhaps he was aware of what God told Moses that no one can see God and live, but since they did not die, that just indicates that they did not see God.
But the most important point in the above passage is that it refers to the angel as merely “an angel.” This shows us that this angel was, in point-of-act, an ordinary angels which was acting on God’s behalf. Since the passage also uses the same references as in other passages that cause people to wrongly believe that it refers to a member of the God-head, then we can also assume that those other appearances were also done by an ordinary angel.
A passage in Judges 2 says:
The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I promised your fathers. I said . . . 4 When the angel of the Lord spoke these words . . .
Now, consider this, the oldest texts from the Bible that we have in Hebrew were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written shortly before the time of Christ, but most are not completely intact. The oldest complete Hebrew texts we have is from the Middle Ages. However, the Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew and it was made even before the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here is how it words it:
And an angel of the Lord went up from Galgal to the place of weeping, and to Baethel, and to the house of Israel, and said to them, Thus says the Lord, I . . . 4 And it came to pass when the angel of the Lord spoke these words . . .
We see clearly that the Septuagint says “an angel” and begins his words with “Thus says the Lord,” while the Masonite text leaves out “Thus says the Lord.” Now, why would anyone add those words? They might take them out to shorten the text or simply to make it seem like this is The Angel of the Lord speaking, but I doubt that they would be added.
And in verse 4 where it says, “when the angel of the Lord spoke these words,” it is not a confusion, it is merely correct grammar. You would never say, “when an angel of the Lord spoke” when you are referring to a specific angel who spoke specific words, you would say “the” not “an.”
And digging even deeper, why did it say that the angel “went up from Gilgal” to Bethel? Did he first deliver a message to the people of Gilgal, then went to Bethel? That wording seems strange for an angelic visitation. Therefore, I suspect, since humans can be messengers as well, that the passage refers to a human messenger, and it would have been better to say prophet.
Finally, in Psalms David wrote:
The angel of the Lord camps around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (34:7)
Well now, isn’t that special, we don’t have just any ole guardian angel, we have Messiah himself guarding each of us! LOL. If theologians are right about their view of “THE angel of the Lord,” then this passage absolutely requires that Messiah guards each one of us as our own personal guardian angel! (There is such a shortage of angels in heaven, you know!)
This idea that The Angel of the Lord is Messiah was also believed by many among the Earth Church Fathers, which led them to wrongly believe that Jesus was not only God and Man, but also a literal angel! Justin Martyr said:
Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said. And He is called Angel and Apostle. (Apology to Caesar)
Melito was a disciple of John the Apostle and was Bishop of Sardis after the one who was there when John sent the letters to the seven churches. He wrote:
[Jesus was] among the angels, Archangel . . . the captain of the angels. (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 8, page 757.)
And even the immanent Irenaeus called Jesus, “Angel among angels” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, page 577). But they were all wrong. In calling Messiah an angel, they were calling him a created being. You cannot be a created being and God at the same time, which is likely one of the reasons that this belief was declared anathema in 553 A.D. by the Fifth Ecumenical Council, which ended centuries of dispute about the matter. It states:
7. If anyone shall say that Christ . . . had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among angels . . . let him be anathema.
(This council also declared anathema the belief in the pre-existence of the human spirit, because those who believed in pre-existence also believed in reincarnation. But I happen to believe that you can pre-exist without reincarnation being true. Some people have made the claim that there are more people alive today than have ever lived, which I once believed, but the Population Reference Bureau “estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived” (www.bbc.com). But that is assuming many died as babies and young children, that is not how many lived into adulthood. Because of the high mortality rate of the young, those living into adulthood are cut down so far that the doctrine of reincarnation as believed by the New Age Movement and other religions is not supportable. However, I do believe it is possible for God to send someone to earth more than once for a special purpose, more about this later.)
I believe I have provided powerful evidence to support my thesis that the Angel of the Lord does not refer to Messiah, but to angels with authority to speak and act for God. That is their job here on Earth, to be emissaries of God.
The state of theology, when it comes to angels, is in a bad place, messed up by much faulty reasoning and analysis.