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Mars Hill  Apologetic Discussions



Sam Shamoun and Hector Heinz Schmidt

Biblical Monotheism and Job 9:8



Sam Shamoun is a Christian layman and contributor to For an Answer.  Hector Heinz Schmidt is a Jehovah's Witness who runs the following website:

Heinz has responded to Sam's paper, which was essentially Sam's response to Greg Stafford’s section on biblical monotheism in Jehovah's Witnesses Defended. Sam's paper can be found here:

And here:


Heinz’s reply can be found here:

And here:


Sam wrote a very lengthy rebuttal to Heinz’s response, which you can find here:


Heinz then tried to respond back! You can find some of it in his initial response, as well as here:

And here:


What follows is Sam's latest reply.



Sam Shamoun

The aim of my paper is to deal with some of Heinz’s response to my use of OT passages which say that Yahweh alone created the cosmos. Heinz’s comments will be in blue. Heinz begins:

Sam does bring up Scriptures where Jehovah says he created alone.  We know that Jehovah, was not really alone at the time of creation because Job 38:6, 7 tells us: "When I laid the foundation of the earth ... all the sons of God shouted for joy". The angels shouted for joy when Jehovah, through His Son, "laid the foundations of the earth".


Heinz misrepresents my argument. Here is what I originally wrote in my response to Heinz:

JW apologists claim that this passage does not prove that Jehovah created all things by himself, but that the context is refuting the false notion that the pagan gods of the nations were responsible for creation. It is in this light that Jehovah claims to be alone in creating the cosmos. Yet this reasoning cannot be sustained in light of the following passage:


“He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. He ALONE stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.” Job 9:7-8 NIV


Job reiterates the point of Isaiah 44:24 and yet no mention of pagan gods can be found throughout the context. Therefore, the reasoning employed by JWs cannot be sustained since with or without the context of false gods, the OT is in agreement that Jehovah alone created all things.


It is quite clear to anyone reading my comments that I was saying that Yahweh created the cosmos without the assistance of anyone. I wasn’t claiming that Yahweh was necessarily alone when he created the cosmos BY HIMSELF. As I said in response to Stafford, which Heinz supposedly has read:


Furthermore, Trinitarians do not deny the possibility of angels existing during the formation of the universe. The Trinitarian point is that Scripture ascribes creation to Jehovah alone, not that Jehovah was by himself when he alone created the universe.


Heinz also misapplies and misunderstands Job 38:6-7, since he thinks this proves that there were angels present at the time of creation. By creation, I take Heinz to be referring to the heavens and the earth. The problem with Heinz’s reading of the passages is that Job 38 says nothing about angels being present when God created the heavens. It only says that angels were present when God laid the foundations of the earth:

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” Job 38:4-11 RSV

One is safe to assume that angels were around when God was fashioning the earth since they would have come into being during the creation of the heavens. This view is supported both by the overall context of the scriptures and extra-biblical references which can be read here:

In any case, Heinz’s appeal to Job 38 does nothing to refute the point that Yahweh ALONE created the cosmos.


We see also that the created Wisdom (Jesus) was helping god during creation creation, "when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman (ftn. little child)." Prov 8:22-30 RSV


Heinz erroneously assumes several things:

1.       He erroneously assumes that Prov. 8:22 refers to the preincarnate Christ

2.       He erroneously assumes that the Hebrew verb qanah means create, as opposed to possesses, to get etc.

Since it is beyond the scope of this article to deal with these issues, we will have to defer this discussion for a future article. For now, we recommend Ray Goldsmith’s refutation of the JW use of Prov. 8 in his dialogue with JW Wrench, titled:

A Dialog on the Son of God Created between Wrench in the Works (an anonymous, self-described Jehovah's Witness) and Ray Goldsmith (a Christian layman).

The debate can be found here:

Here, we would like to show how Heinz’s method of exegesis can be used to prove the very opposite of his assertion.  In trying to connect the Lord Jesus with the Wisdom of Prov. 8, Heinz failed to see how this undermines his own position:

Reply: It is the Bible that calls Jesus "the firstborn of all creation," "the beginning of God's creation," the "only-begotten Son" and links Jesus to the "created" Wisdom of Proverbs (Col 1:15; Rev 3:14; Jn 3:16; Prov 8:22-30 cf. Lu 11:47/1Cor 1:24 RSV). (

Heinz connects Prov. 8 with 1 Cor. 1:24 to prove that Jesus is God’s created Wisdom. We would like to quote the passage in order to show our readers what Heinz missed:

“however, to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the POWER of God (christen theou dunamin) and the WISDOM of God.” NWT

Jesus is called God’s Wisdom AND Power, which is quite significant. The Scriptures state that God’s power is both eternal and divine:

"For his invisible [qualities] are clearly seen from the world's creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his ETERNAL POWER (he te aidios autou dunamis) and Godship, so that they are inexcusable." Romans 1:20 NWT

“forasmuch as his DIVINE POWER (tes theias dunameos autou) has given us freely all the things that concern life and godly devotion, through the accurate knowledge of the one who called us through glory and virtue.” 2 Peter 1:3 NWT

Applying Heinz’ exegetical method we are forced to conclude that Jesus is uncreated! Note:

1.       God's power is divine and eternal. 

2.       Jesus is God's power. 

3.       Therefore, Jesus is divine and eternal.

If Heinz is to remain consistent then he must accept this conclusion, since both premises in the syllogism are biblically valid. Otherwise, for Heinz to reject this only shows that he is rather inconsistent in how he handles the biblical data and is simply reading into the Holy Bible his post-biblical 19th century JW theology.

Furthermore, to quote a passage that says that Wisdom was there when God created all things doesn’t help Heinz in the least. God’s Wisdom is an essential part of his eternal Being, originating from within Himself. In fact, the Scriptures also teach that God used Wisdom to create ALL THINGS. See for instance the following citations:

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 NET Bible

The NET translators’ note 26 says:

… This expression is an anthropomorphism; it indicates that the Lord is the immediate source or author of the wisdom. It is worth noting that in the incarnation many of these "anthropomorphisms" become literal in the person of the Logos, the Word, Jesus, who reveals the Father. (

Continuing further:

The Lord by wisdom laid the foundation of the earth; he established the heavens by understanding. By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open, and the clouds drip down dew.Proverbs 3:19-20 NET Bible

“O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them ALL; the earth is full of thy creatures.” Psalm 104:24 RSV

“The Lord is the one who by his POWER made the earth. He is the one who by his WISDOM fixed the world in place.” Jeremiah 10:12 NET Bible

These facts demonstrate that Wisdom is uncreated, which provides additional evidence that Jesus is eternal, and hence God! Again:

1.       God’s Wisdom is eternal and the agent of creation.

2.       Jesus is God’s Wisdom.

3.       Therefore, Jesus is eternal and the agent of creation.

Interestingly, it was passages such as these that led the early Church to conclude that Christ was eternally begotten or generated; i.e., that Christ existed eternally with the Father, while at the same time deriving his Deity and divine existence from the One who generated him.  


The use of the term, "alone", "by myself" etc do not necessarily mean the same thing to those in power, even in the Bible. What do I mean?

Let us look at Daniel 4:30 and Isaiah 63:3. Daniel 4:30, "The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built.' " NASB.

"The king was saying, 'Great Babylon! Imperial palace! Did I not build it alone.' " Jerusalem Bible.

"The king spake and said, Is this not Babylon the great, - which I myself have built," J.B. Rotherham
Nebuchadnezzar was not the only person to have built Babylon, was he?  But it was built by his authority, his word and no other's.

Heinz has committed the fallacy of false analogy since these passages are not at all parallel to God creating the cosmos. It is evident that alone here doesn’t mean that Nebu built Babylon by himself, but refers to his having the authority to carry out his desires. But even here Nebu was wrong as the CONTEXT shows, since it was Yahweh who granted authority to the king to carry out his plans:

“This is the interpretation, O king. It is the decision of the Most High that this has happened to my lord the king. You will be driven from human society, and you will live with the wild animals. You will be fed grass like oxen, and you will become damp with the dew of the sky. Seven times will pass by for you, before you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes. Now in that they said to leave a taproot of the tree, your kingdom will be restored to you when you come to understand that heaven rules. Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you. Break away from your sins by doing acts of righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps your prosperity will be prolonged.’” Daniel 4:24-27 NET Bible

“But at the end of the appointed time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven, and my sanity returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and I praised and glorified the one who lives forever. For his rule is an everlasting rule, and his kingdom extends from one generation to the next. All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he wishes with the army of heaven and with those who inhabit the earth. No one slaps his hand and says to him, ‘What have you done?’ At that time my sanity returned to me. I was restored to the honor of my kingdom, and my splendor returned to me. My ministers and my magistrates were seeking me out, and I was reinstated over my kingdom. Tremendous greatness was restored to me, greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all his deeds are right and his ways are just. He is able to bring low those who live in pride.” Daniel 4:34-37 NET Bible

Heinz’s next example actually proves that Jesus and the Angel of Yahweh (whom we feel is the preincarnate Christ) is Yahweh God! 

Isaiah 63:3 says: "I [Jehovah] have trodden the wine press alone, and of the peoples there was no man with me." Again, it was not Jehovah who personally punish these people. It was His angel acting on the Jehovah's authority. (2 Kings 19:35, 36)


Later on we will show that the Angel is Yahweh God. Here, we would like to quote Isaiah 63 in order to see how this provides additional proof that Jesus is Yahweh God Almighty:

"Who is this one coming from E'dom, the one with garments of glowing colors from Boz'rah, this one who is honorable in his clothing, marching in the abundance of his power? 'I, the One speaking in righteousness, the One abounding [in power] to save.' Why is it that your clothing is red, and your garments are like those of one treading in the winepress? 'The wine I have trodden BY MYSELF, while THERE WAS NO MAN WITH ME from the peoples. And I kept treading them in my anger, and I kept tramping them down in my rage. And their spurting blood kept spattering upon my garments and all my clothing I have polluted. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the very year of my repurchased ones has come. And I kept looking, BUT THERE WAS NO HELPER; and I began to show myself astonished, BUT THERE WAS NO ONE OFFERING SUPPORT. So my arm furnished me salvation, and my rage was what supported me. And I kept stamping down peoples in my anger, and I proceeded to make them drunk with my rage and to bring down to the earth spurting blood.'" Isaiah 63:1-6 NWT

Isaiah repeats this here:

"… 'And Jehovah got to see, and it was bad in his eyes that there was no justice. And when he saw THAT THERE WAS NO MAN, he began to show himself astonished that there was no one interposing. And his arm proceeded to save for him, and his OWN righteousness was the thing that supported. Then he put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and the helmet of salvation upon his head. Furthermore, he put on the garments of vengeance as raiment and enwrapped himself with zeal as if a sleeveless coat. In accordance with the dealings he will reward correspondingly, rage to his adversaries, due treatment to his enemies. To the islands he will recompense due treatment. And from the sunset they will begin to fear the name of Jehovah, and from the rising of the sun the glory of him, for he will come in like a distressing river, which the very spirit of Jehovah has driven along. And to Zion the Repurchaser will certainly come, and to those turning from transgression in Jacob, is the utterance of Jehovah. 'And as for me, this is my covenant with them,' Jehovah has said. 'My spirit that is upon you and my words that I have put in your mouth- they will not be removed from your mouth or from the mouth of your offspring or from the mouth of the offspring of your offspring,' Jehovah has said, 'from now on even to time indefinite.'" Isaiah 59:15b-21 NWT

According to these last two passages God had to work out salvation by himself since there was no one, no man, qualified to help him. Now compare this with the following depiction of the risen Lord:

"And I saw the heaven opened, and, look! a white horse. And the one seated upon it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a fiery flame, and upon his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is arrayed with an outer garment sprinkled with blood, and the name he is called is The Word of God. Also, the armies that were in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth there protrudes a sharp long sword, that he may strike the nations with it, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. He treads too the winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty. And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of Lords." Revelation 19:11-16 NWT

Here, Jesus is described in the same exact way that Isaiah describes Yahweh and does exactly what the prophet says God alone was going to do! In other words, Isaiah saw and wrote about Jesus!


Did Jehovah personally chastise the Babylonians or did He use the Medes and Perians to accomplish His will? (Daniel 5:26-28, 30-31) All these acts were done by Jehovah's authority; and by His alone.—Ezekiel. 36:33, 36.

But this again, is where agency comes in, such as was mentioned in the first reply to Sam. Nave's Topical Bible rightly says under *Worship,* "to be rendered to God only."


Heinz again commits the fallacy of false analogy since God using creatures to accomplish his purpose is not at all analogous to God creating the cosmos.

Furthermore, Heinz’s appeal to the concept of agency doesn’t help him at all. Agency doesn’t account for a person calling himself Yahweh God, receiving the worship of God, and doing the works that God alone can do.

 For instance, the Lord Jesus refers to this concept when sending out the disciples:

“The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible

Just because the Apostles functioned as Christ’s agents didn’t mean that they could call themselves Jesus Christ when speaking to others, receive worship, or claim to be the preexistent Logos. Agency simply means that since they were Christ’s emissaries, having his authority, when they said or did something it was if Christ had personally said or done it. More on this later.   

Heinz continues with his false analogies by bringing up the issue of worship:

Yet, the worship to God (Shachah, OT), is again, contrasted between Jehovah and the false idol gods.

Ex 20:3-4, " Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image..."

Ex 34:14, 17 "for thou shalt worship no other god: for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God...Thou shalt make thee no molten gods."

...and interestingly, Deut 29:26, "and went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods that they knew not, and that he had not given unto them."

It is of no small note that the Bible also uses the same word (Shachah) used in exclusive WORSHIP to Jehovah, to others as well.

"Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel" Dan 2:46 KJV, RV, ASV
"And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king." 1Chron 29:20 KJV, ASV
Here, king David is given the same worship as Jehovah.


It is rather tiresome to see Heinz consistently bring up irrelevant points that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. We are not talking about whether the word shachah is used in a BROADER sense to refer to the honor and reverence that is shown to superiors. We are talking about creation and who exactly brought it into being.

Furthermore, we are not aware of any passage which says that shachah is to be given to God alone, which leads me to my next point. It is interesting that Heinz does not tell his readers that there is another word that is used for worship, namely the Aramaic word pelach. This is often rendered in English as “serve” as the following example in Daniel shows:

“Nebuchadnez'zar said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.’” Daniel 3:28 RSV

“And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 ASV- Cf. 3:12,14,17-18; 6:16,20[17,21 LXX]; Ezra 7:24

In all the examples above, the LXX uses latreuo for pelach. According to the Lord Jesus, latreuo is to be given to God alone:

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! for it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve (kai auto mono latreuseis).”’” Matthew 4:10 RSV

Amazingly, Daniel states that all the nations will render unto the Son of Man, whom the NT identifies as the Lord Jesus, the very pelach/latreuo/service that only God is to receive:

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14 RSV

The Bible Works (5.0) version of the LXX and the Rahlfs edition of the LXX both have latreuousa in Daniel 7:14. The Aramaic word here is yiplechûn. It should be noted that the Rahlfs edition of the LXX contains two different readings of this verse. Rahlf's version of Daniel has a translation from one codex on the top of the page (syro-Hexaplaris) and another on the bottom (a Theodotion translation). The Theodotion translation (bottom of the page on Rahlf's translation), which Brenton’s LXX follows here, contains a form of the verb douloo, which means to serve or slave. The Bible Works 5.0 version of the LXX also contains this variant reading. Yet, the same Aramaic word and both Greek words latreuo and douloo are used in the Aramaic and Greek versions of Daniel 3:28. There we saw that Daniel's three friends ‘yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.’ So, regardless of any textual variant in the LXX, the Aramaic word used in Daniel 7:14 refers to the service that is not to be given to any god except the true God Yahweh. And yet it is given to the Son of Man!

For more on Jesus receiving latreuo, please read the following:

Heinz next erroneously assumes that angels received worship:

An angel even receives worship(NKJV, ASV) at Joshua 5:13-15 c.f.Ex. 23:23.

Angels were even allowed to use God's name. In Exodus 3:2 [Acts 7:30-32], "the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" Ex. 3:2. Yet later on we read that this same angel used the name Jehovah for himself [v. 16], even the "I AM"[v.14] you find so important to your theology. As Ex 23:20, 21 says,

"Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Take ye heed before him, and hearken unto his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgression: for my name is in him."

So as representatives of God, angels were allowed to use his name, and to act as God. You will find other examples of angels in similar situations at Gen 16:13, 21:17; 22:15,16; 31:11, 13, Jg 6:12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23; 13:6, 21, and Deut 5:24.


None of these citations ascribe worship to angels, nor do they teach that angels were allowed to use God’s name and act as God. The references all refer to a PARTICULAR messenger of God who just so happens to be Yahweh God also (as Heinz himself notes in anticipation of my response)! This accounts for why this angel could receive the worship due to God, have God’s name, and act as God SINCE HE IS GOD!

Furthermore, Heinz’s explanation leads to contradictions with the following NT passages:

“And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.’ For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'" Revelation 19:9-10 RSV

“I John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’” Revelation 22:8-9 RSV

These passages pose considerable problems for Heinz. If it were true that angels can receive the worship due to God since they act as his representatives, implying that the worship is really being directed to God, then there would have been no reason for this angel to forbid John from worshiping him. This is especially the case when we take into consideration that this angel is identified as the angel of God and Christ, and therefore stands in their place as their representative:

“Then the angel said to me, ‘These words are reliable and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent HIS angel to show his servants what must happen soon.’” Revelation 22:6 NET Bible

I, Jesus, have sent MY angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendent of David, the bright morning star!” Revelation 22:16 NET

The very fact that the angel REFUSES to be worshiped, despite being God’s representative, demonstrates just how untenable Heinz’s explanation truly is.

Heinz seeks to undermine my position regarding the Angel of Yahweh, since he apparently realizes that if I am correct then Heinz’s JW Unitarian view of Yahweh is exposed as being com[lately and thoroughly unbiblical:

It should be noted that Sam will say that the "Angel of the LORD" is also a member of the Trinity, or even Jesus. This may be true some of the time, but not always. Consider a few examples:


Heinz is correct regarding what I will say since the OT shows beyond any reasonable doubt that this particular Angel is not a creature, but Yahweh God Almighty who appears visibly (often as a man) to his servants. At the same time, the Angel is shown to be distinct from another who is also Yahweh God. These OT appearances of the Angel of Yahweh provide evidence that there is a plurality of Persons existing as the one true God, Yahweh. We invite our readers to carefully go over all of Heinz’s citations to see this for themselves.  

Heinz provides an alleged “counter-argument” to my claim:

In Zechariah 1:11-13 we have a conversation between this angel and Jehovah.

"And they answered the angel of Jehovah that stood among the myrtle-trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
  Then the angel of Jehovah answered and said, "O Jehovah of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?"  And Jehovah answered the angel that talked with me with good words, even comfortable words."

If the angel of the LORD is the LORD himself (or a member of the LORD...I can't believe I just said that) then how did he not know the answer to the question he posed to the LORD?  The text indicates that the Angel really is perplexed over the present state of Judah. He does not know what the LORD knows and so poses the aforesaid question to Him.



If Heinz’s logic is correct that the Angel asking a question proves that he is not God, then he must be consistent and conclude that Jehovah is not God either since he too asks questions from others:

“Finally Jehovah said to Moses: ‘How long will this people treat me without respect, and how long will they not put faith in me for all the signs that I performed in among them?’” Numbers 14:11 NWT

“And Jehovah went on to speak to Moses and Aaron, saying: ‘How long will this evil assembly have this murmuring that they are carrying on against me? I have heard the murmuring of the sons of Israel that they are murmuring against me.’” Numbers 14:26-27 NWT

“And he went on to say: ‘Therefore HEAR the word of Jehovah: I certainly see Jehovah sitting upon his throne and all the army of the heavens standing at his right and his left. And Jehovah proceeded to say, “Who will fool A’hab the king of Israel that he may go up and fall at Ra’moth-gil’ead?” And there was talk, this one saying something like this, and that one saying something like that. Finally, a spirit came out and stood before Jehovah and said, “I myself shall fool him.” At that Jehovah said to him, “By what means?” To this he said, “I shall go forth and certainly become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” So he said, “You will fool him, and, what is more, you will come off the winner. Go out and do that.”’” 2 Chronicles 18:18-21 NWT

Hence, Zechariah 1:11-13 no more disproves my position that the Angel is Yahweh God than the preceding passages disprove the deity of Yahweh God!

Even more amazing is that, as a JW, Heinz believes that God exercises selective foreknowledge, i.e. that God can choose to not know certain things:

The view that God's exercise of his foreknowledge is infinite and that he does foreordain the course and destiny of all individuals is known as predestinarianism. Its advocates reason that God's divinity and perfection require that he be omniscient (all-knowing), not only respecting the past and present, but also regarding the future. For him not to foreknow all matters in their every detail would evidence imperfection, according to this concept.
But consider the implications of such a predestinarian view. This concept would mean that, prior to creating angels or earthling man, God exercised his powers of foreknowledge and foresaw and foreknew all that would result from such creation, including the rebellion of one of his spirit sons, the subsequent rebellion of the first human pair in Eden (Gen. 3:1-6; John 8:44), and all the bad consequences of such rebellion down to and beyond this present day. This would necessarily mean that all the wickedness that history has recorded (the crime and immorality, oppression and resultant suffering, lying and, hypocrisy, false worship and idolatry) once existed, before creation's beginning, only in the mind of God, in the form of his foreknowledge of the future.
If the Creator of mankind had indeed exercised his power to foreknow all that history has seen since man's creation, then the full force of all the wickedness thereafter resulting was deliberately set in motion by God when he spoke the words: "Let us make man." (Gen. 1:26) These facts bring into question the reasonableness and consistency of the predestinarian concept; particularly so since the disciple James shows that disorder and other vile things do not originate from God's heavenly presence but are "earthly, animal, demonic" in source.-Jas. 3:14-18.
The argument that God's not foreknowing all future events and circumstances in full detail would evidence imperfection on his part is, in reality, an arbitrary view of perfection. Ultimately, God's own will and good pleasure are the deciding factors as to whether anything is perfect, not human opinions or concepts.-2 Sam. 22:31; Isa. 46:10.
To illustrate this, God's almightiness is undeniably perfect and is infinite in capacity. (1 Chron. 29:11, 12; Job 36:22; 37:23) Yet his perfection in strength does not require him to use his power to the full extent of his omnipotence in any or in all cases. Clearly he has not done so, or, not merely would certain ancient cities and some nations have been destroyed, but the earth and all in it would have been obliterated long ago by God's executions of judgment, as at the Flood and on other occasions. (Gen. 6:5-8; 19:23-25, 29) God's exercise of his might is therefore not simply an unleashing of limitless power but is constantly governed by his purpose and tempered by his mercy, where merited.-Neh. 9:31; Ps. 78:38, 39.
Similarly, if, in certain respects, God chooses to exercise his infinite ability of foreknowledge in a selective way and to the degree that pleases him, then assuredly no human or angel can rightly say: "What are you doing?" (Job 9:12; Isa. 45:9; Dan. 4:35) It is therefore not a question of ability, what God can foresee, foreknow and foreordain, for "with God all things are possible." (Matt. 19:26) The question is what God sees fit to foresee, foreknow and foreordain, for "everything that he delighted to do he has done."-Ps. 115:3. (Watchtower 8/1/1970 pp. 469-70; see also Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1, pp. 851-860 [specifically 853-854])

Again, if Yahweh can choose to be ignorant of certain things without this nullifying his Deity, then why should the Angel beseeching Yahweh on behalf of Judah prove that he is not fully God? One can argue that the Angel, much like Yahweh, was exercising “his infinite ability of foreknowledge in a selective way and to the degree that pleases him”!

With that said, I do not believe that the Angel was asking a question due to being perplexed or ignorant of God’s purpose or plan. Rather, I take the Angel’s question as more of a request for God to show mercy to his covenant people. In other words, the Angel was functioning as Israel’s intercessor, beseeching God to show grace and kindness to Judah. This is why the text goes on to say that Yahweh comforted the Angel ‘with good words, even comfortable words”, and why vv. 14-15 say:

“Turning to me, the messenger then said, ‘Cry out that the sovereign Lord says, “I am very much moved for Jerusalem and for Zion. But I am greatly displeased with the nations that take my grace for granted. I was a little displeased with them, but they have only made things worse for themselves.”’” NET Bible

Furthermore, reading further into Zechariah one will find explicit evidence that the Angel is in fact Yahweh God:

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan; yea, Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. And HE answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take the filthy garments from off him. And unto him HE said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with rich apparel. And I said, Let them set a clean mitre upon his head. So they set a clean mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments; and the angel of Jehovah was standing by. And the angel of Jehovah protested unto Joshua, SAYING, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: If thou wilt walk in MY ways, and if thou wilt keep MY charge, then thou also shalt judge MY house, and shalt also keep MY courts, and I will give thee a place of access among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee; for they are men that are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; upon one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith Jehovah of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, shall ye invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig-tree.” Zechariah 3:1-10 ASV

The Angel here is identified as Yahweh who rebukes Satan and has the ability to forgive Joshua of his sins, a divine function. This is not the only place where the Angel is said to be able to forgive sins:

“I am going to send an angel before you, to protect you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Take heed because of him, and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him. But if you diligently obey him, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an adversary to your adversaries. For my angel will go before you, and bring you in to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will cut them off.” Exodus 23:20-23 NET Bible

The NET translators say in footnote 47:

… The word is Ea*l=m^ (mal'ak), "messenger, angel." This angel is to be treated with the same fear and respect as Yahweh, for Yahweh will be speaking in him. Cassuto says that the words of the first clause do not imply a being distinct from God, for in the ancient world the line of demarcation between the sender and the sent is liable easily to be blurred. Cassuto then shows how the "Angel of Yahweh" in Genesis is Yahweh. He concludes that the words here mean "I will guide you" (pp. 305-6). Christian commentators tend to identify the Angel of Yahweh as the second person of the Trinity (Kaiser, p. 446; and Kaiser, Old Testament Theology, p. 120). However, in addition to being a preincarnate appearance, the word could refer to Yahweh-some manifestation of Yahweh himself. (; bold emphasis ours)

And in regards to the Angel embodying God’s name, in footnote 50 they write:

… This means "the manifestation of my being" is in him (Driver, p. 247). Driver then quotes McNeile as saying, "The 'angel' is Jehovah Himself 'in a temporary descent to visibility for a special purpose'." The Talmud identified the Angel as "Metatron," who stood nearest the throne of God. (; bold emphasis ours)

The OT also implicitly testifies that the Angel knows all things that occur in the earth:

“For the sake of altering the face of the matter your servant Jo’ab has done this thing, but my lord is wise as with the wisdom of the angel of the [true] God so as to know all that is in the earth.” 2 Samuel 14:20 NWT

It is therefore evident that a careful and accurate examination of the data leads to the inevitable conclusion that this Angel is Yahweh God Almighty.

Heinz next tries to pull a fast one on his readers:

Next, we have the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph, while Mary was pregnant (Matt 1:20), and while Jesus was a child (Matt 2:13). If Jesus is the Angel of the Lord, then how many members of the trinity are there?


Heinz equivocates here since he assumes that this NT Angel of the Lord is the same entity mentioned throughout the OT. Heinz is apparently assuming that since both are called the Angel of the Lord then they are somehow one and the same?! The error in Heinz’s reasoning should be apparent to all since it is not simply the title which implies that they are the same entity, or that the Being is God, but rather the ascription of divine characteristics which would demonstrate these facts. For instance, the OT states that:

1.       The Angel is called Yahweh and God.

2.       The Angel calls himself Yahweh and God.

3.       The Angel is worshiped.

4.       The Angel performs divine functions.

Yet, there is nothing in Matt 2 that implies that THIS Angel is God or is the same Angel of the Lord mentioned in the OT. Just because the same title is used doesn’t mean that Matt had the same Being in view.

Just to show you the level of dishonesty that goes into these theories, read the follwing from Charles Ryrie: "That He [the angel of the Lord] is a member of the Trinity is indicated by the fact that the appearances of the Angel of Yahweh cease after the Incarnation." (To Ryrie the "Angel of Yahweh" is the same as the"Angel of the Lord"...see index). p. 236, Basic Theology, by Charles Ryrie.

Not only do the above 2 Scriptures contradict him, but so do the mention of the "angel of the Lord" at Acts 5:19; 8:26; 12:7, 23. Can we believe ANYTHING these people say regarding the Trinity, if they are even willing to lie about it?


Apart from Heinz’s ad hominem slurs, it is quite evident that Heinz really has nothing to offer by way of response. Amazingly, Heinz attacks Ryrie based ON HIS OWN MISREADING AND MISQUOTING Ryrie’s book. Heinz has conveniently quoted Ryrie out of context. Here is the FULL quotation taken from p. 239 (not 236!) so as to see what Ryrie actually wrote:

B. His Activity as Angel

1. His identity as Angel of Yahweh. Clearly the Angel of Yahweh is a self-manifestation of Yahweh, for He speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and claims to exercise the prerogatives of God (Gen. 16:7-12; 21:17-18; 22:11-18; Ex. 3:2; Jud. 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12; 3:1; 12:8). Yet He is distinguished from Yahweh (Gen. 24:7; Zech. 1:12-13). That He is a member of the Trinity is indicated by the fact that the appearances of the Angel of Yahweh cease after the Incarnation. This is confirmed by the Old Testament statement that the Angel of God accompanied Israel when they left Egypt (Ex. 14:19; cf. 23:20) and the New Testament statement that the Rock who followed Israel was Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). (Ryrie, Basic Theology [Victor Books, 1982], p. 239; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Ryrie says elsewhere:

E. Angel of Yahweh

As discussed in chapter 40, the Angel of Yahweh is a Christophany, a preincarnate appearance of Christ. The Angel speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the prerogatives of God (Gen. 16:7-12; 21:17-18; 22:11-18; Ex. 3:2; Jud. 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12; 3:1; 12:8). Appearances of the Angel cease after the incarnation of Christ which supports conclusions that He was the preincarnate Christ. (Ibid., p. 130; bold emphasis ours)

In his section on the Triunity of God, Ryrie writes:

C. The Angel of Yahweh

Though THIS MAY REFER TO ANY OF GOD’S ANGELS (1 Kings 19:7; cf. v. 5), sometimes that Angel is referred to as God, yet distinguished from Him (Gen. 16:7-13; 18:1-21; 19:1-28; Mal. 3:1). This points to personal distinctions within the Godhead. Since the Angel is called God, He could hardly be only a prophet, functioning in pre-prophetic times as the prophets did in later times as the prophets did in later times (as Edmund Jacob suggests in Theology of the Old Testament, pp. 75-76). (Ibid., pp. 51-52; bold and capital emphasis ours)

That Ryrie is also aware of the NT appearances of AN angel of the Lord can be seen from his comments regarding the activity of angels during the earthly life of Christ:

A. At His Birth

1. Prediction. Gabriel predicted His birth (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-28)

2. Announcement. An angel announced His birth to the shepherds and was then accompanied in praise by a multitude of angels (Luke 2:8-15).

B. During His Life

1. Warning. An angel warned Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt. 2:13-15).

2. Direction. An angel directed the family to return to Israel after Herod died (vv. 19-21). (Ibid., pp. 131-132)

These citations show that Ryrie is clearly aware that there are other angels who are called the/an angel of the Lord. After reading Ryrie’s statements IN CONTEXT, it is quite clear what Ryrie meant regarding this Angel ceasing to appear after the Incarnation. After the birth of the Lord Jesus, you will not find any angel speaking as God, identifying himself as God, and/or exercising the prerogatives of God. We therefore challenge Heinz TO PRODUCE NT CITATIONS WHERE AN ANGEL SPEAKS AND ACTS AS GOD, AS WELL AS CLAIMING TO HAVE THE VERY PREROGATIVES OF GOD IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE ANGEL OF YAHWEH DOES IN THE OT.

In light of the foregoing, it is quite obvious that Heinz has either deliberately twisted Ryrie’s words and/or misunderstood what he actually meant. Therefore, can we believe ANYTHING Heinz says regarding the Trinity, when he is willing to lie and twist primary sources to suit his purposes?

Heinz next quotes Elwell:

"He is distinguished from God in that God refers to the angel (Ex 23:23; 32:34) and speaks to him (2 Sam 24:16; 1 Chron 21:27) and the angel speaks to Yahweh (Zech 1:12). The evidence for the view that the angel of the Lord is a preincarnate appearance of Christ is basically analogical and false short of it being conclusive. The NT does not clearly show make that identification." Evangelical Dictionary of Theology by Elwell, p. 62



As we had noted in our initial response, Heinz is fond of committing the fallacy of appealing to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam). We had stated that one way a person commits this fallacy is by appealing to certain experts, while failing to note that other experts disagree with those cited.  In other words, since experts in the field disagree on an issue to appeal to one group of experts proves absolutely nothing.


The fact of the matter is that biblical scholars do not all agree over the precise identity of the Angel of Yahweh, something which can be seen from Elwell’s book. For example, contributing author T.E. McComiskey states:


“Many understand the angel of the Lord as a true theophany. From the time of Justin on, the figure has been regarded as the preincarnate Logos. It is BEYOND QUESTION that the angel of the Lord MUST BE IDENTIFIED in some way with God (Gen. 16:13; Judg. 6:14; 13:21-22), yet he is distinguished from God in that God refers to the angel (Exod. 23:23; 32:34) and speaks to him (2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chron. 21:27) and the angel speaks to Yahweh (Zech. 1:12).

The evidence for that the angel of the Lord is a preincarnate appearance of Christ is basically analogically and falls short of being conclusive. The NT does not clearly make that identification. It is best to see the angel AS A SELF-MANIFESTATION OF YAHWEH in a form that would communicate his immanence and direct concern to those whom he ministered.” (Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology [Baker Book House; 2nd edition, May 2001], p. 62; bold and capital emphasis ours)


Contributor J.C. Moyer disagrees. Under the heading Theophany, Moyer writes:

“… Some label the expression ‘angel of the Lord’ or ‘angel of God’ as a theophanic angel. These expression occur more than fifty times in the OT; some of the most important passages include Exodus 23:20-23; 32:34; and Isaiah 63:9. Various interpretations have been suggested including an appearance of God himself, an appearance of a messenger or one of God’s many angels, and an appearance of the preincarnate Christ. Each interpretation has difficulties, and there is no consensus.” (Ibid., p. 1191)

The problem is far from solved. Elwell also edited Baker’s Theological Dictionary of the Bible. On p. 770, under the heading Theophany, contributing writer William C. Williams claims:

“Manifestation of God that is tangible to the human senses. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period often, but not always, in human form. Some would also include in this term Christophanies (preincarnate appearances of Christ) and angelophanies (appearances of angels). In the latter category are found the appearances of the angel of the Lord, which some have taken as Christophanies, reasoning that since the angel speaks for God in the first person (Gen. 16:10) and the human addressed often attributes this experience to God directly (Gen. 16:13), the angel must therefore be the Lord or the preincarnate Christ. Yet, though the angel is clearly identified with the Lord, he is distinguished from him (he is called ‘angel,’ meaning ‘messenger’; similar patterns of identification and distinction can be seen in Genesis 19:1, 21; 31:11, 13; Exod. 3:2, 4; Judg. 2:1-5; 6:11-12, 14; 13:3, 6, 8-11, 13, 15-17, 20-23; Zech. 3:1-6; 12:8). In the ancient oriental world, a king’s messenger spoke in the name of the king. Any insult to the king himself (cf. Hanun’s treatment of David’s embassy, 2 Sam. 10:1-4; 1 Chron. 19:2-6). There seems, therefore, no necessity to posit a theophany for the angel of the Lord. In Joshua 5:13-6:5, the conquest narrative is interrupted by the abrupt appearance of a being who calls himself the ‘commander of the army of the Lord’ (5:14). To interpret this event as an encounter with God oR with the preincarnate Christ forces the text. Angels were sent on missions of this kind (Judg. 6:11, 13:3), and some were identified as captains over heavenly armies (Dan. 10:5, 20; 12:1). While there are no indisputable Christophanies in the Old Testament, every theophany wherein God takes on human form foreshadows the incarnation, both in matters of grace and judgment.” (Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible, edited by Walter A. Elwell [Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI, 1996], p. 770;


In the same volume we find contributor Louis Goldberg disagreeing with Williams! The former writes:


Angel of the Lord. (Heb., mal’ak yehwah). Supernatural being who bears a message on behalf of God. In many passages in the Old Testament, the angel of the Lord is identified with God, while in other instances a distinction is made between the Lord and the angel. In general, however, the terms ‘the angel of the Lord,’ ‘the Lord,’ and ‘God’ are interchangeable.

The angel of the Lord is the messenger of both good and evil. He comes to Hagar after she has fled from the abusive Sarai (Gen. 16:7-14) to assure her that God has heard about her misery and that her descendants will be too numerous to count. She names him ‘You are the God who sees me’ (v. 13). The angel of the Lord pronounces a curse on the people of Meroz, because they refused to come to the help of the Lord (Judg. 5:23).

The angel of the Lord executes judgment on behalf of the Lord. He puts to death 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in their camp, thereby saving Jerusalem from decimation (2 Kings 19:35).

The angel of the Lord both commissions and commends God’s servants. The commander of the Lord’s army commissions Joshua to undertake the Lord’s battles for Canaan, just as Moses had been commissioned to confront Pharaoh (Josh. 5:13-15; cf. Exod. 3:5). The angel of the Lord appears to Abraham. He stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and commends him because he has not withheld his only son from God (Gen. 22:11-18).  Abraham identifies the angel as God, calling the place ‘The LORD Will Provide.’

The angel of the Lord carries out a ministry of reconciliation. He asks how long God will withhold mercy from Jerusalem and Judah (Zech. 1:12).

The connection between the angel of the Lord and the preincarnate appearances of the Messiah CANNOT BE DENIED. Manoah meets the angel of the Lord, and declares that he has seen God. The angel accepts worship from Manoah and his wife as no mere angel, and refers to himself as ‘Wonderful,’ the same term applied to the coming deliverer in Isaiah 9:6 (Judg. 13:9-22). The functions of the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament prefigure the reconciling ministry of Jesus. In the New Testament, there is no mention of the angel of the Lord; THE MESSIAH HIMSELF IS THIS PERSON.” (Ibid., p. 23-; capital emphasis ours)


This means that instead of quoting authorities, one must prove their case from the Holy Bible. Once this is done, it becomes rather evident that the Angel is indeed Yahweh God. 

Heinz concludes with some comments from the NIV Study Bible:

"Traditional Christian interpretation has held that this 'angel' was a preincarnate manifestation of Christ as God's messenger-Servant. It may be, however, that, as the Lord's personal messenger who represented him and bore his credentials, the angel could speak on behalf of the (an so be identified with) the One who sent him (see especially 19:21; cf. 18:2, 22; 19:2). Whether this 'angel' was the second person of the Trinity remains therefore uncertain." NIV Study Bible, Genesis 16:7]

Again, this is simply another example of appealing to authority and simply demonstrates that scholars are not unanimous in their views. Yet, do note the NIV’s statement carefully:

"Traditional Christian interpretation has held that this 'angel' was a preincarnate manifestation of Christ as God's messenger-Servant…

Amazingly, Heinz failed to quote the one source that is far more authoritative for him as a JW then all the others he has cited; a source which concedes the plausibility of the Traditional Christian interpretation. Insight on the Scriptures writes:

“Doubtless on many occasions during his prehuman existence as the Word, Jesus acted as Jehovah’s Spokesman to persons on earth. While certain texts refer to Jehovah as though directly speaking to humans, other texts make clear that he did so through an angelic representative. (Compare Ex 3:2-4 with Acts 7:30, 35; also Ge 16:7-11, 13, 22:1, 11, 12, 15-18.) Reasonably, in the majority of such cases God spoke through the Word. He likely did so in Eden, for on two of the three occasions where mention is made of God’s speaking there, the record specifically shows someone with Him, undoubtedly his Son. (Ge 1:26-30; 2:16, 17; 3:8-19, 22) The angel who guided Israel through the wilderness and whose voice the Israelites were strictly to obey because ‘Jehovah’s name was within him,’ may therefore have been God’s Son, the Word.- Ex 23:20-23; compare Jos 5:13-15.’” (Insight, vol. 2, p. 53; bold emphasis ours)


“In a similar way God’s firstborn Son doubtless served as the Mouth, or Spokesman, for his Father, the great king of Eternity. He was God’s Word of communication for conveying information and instructions to the Creator’s other spirit and human sons. It is reasonable to think that prior to Jesus’ coming to earth, on many of the occasions when God communicated with humans he used the Word as his angelic mouthpiece. (Ge 16:7-11; 22:11; 31:11; Ex 3:2-5; Jg 2:1-4; 6:11, 12; 13:3) Since the angel that guided the Israelites through the wilderness had ‘Jehovah’s name within him,’ he may have been God’s Son, the Word.- Ex 23:20-23; see JESUS CHRIST (Prehuman Existence).” (Ibid., p. 1203; bold emphasis ours).

Hence, even the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society concedes the possibility that the Angel is none other than the preincarnate Christ!

For more information regarding the biblical evidence which supports the view that this Angel is Yahweh God, and that he is indeed the preincarnate Christ, we recommend the following articles: