Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou
The God Of The New Testament In The Old Testament
“As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realised that it was the angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!” (Judges 13:20-22)
In my previous article, The Burning Bush, we examined the manifestation of the “Angel of the Lord” or the “Angel of Great Counsel” in the Burning Bush on Mount Sinai. As we saw, when this particular ‘angel’ appears, He declares Himself as God, “I am the God of your fathers” (Exodus 3:6), and yet also speaks as though subordinate to God. The reason is that the Angel of the Lord is the Son of God, fully God and yet subordinate and obedient to the Father. In this article we will look at other manifestations of the Angel of the Lord, also referred to in some places as the Angel of God (Genesis 31:11; Exodus 14:9), the Angel of His Presence (Isaiah 63:9), and the God of Bethel (Genesis 31:11-13).
The accounts of the appearances of the Angel of the Lord really speak for themselves. It is abundantly clear in the cited passages that follow that the Angel of the Lord is God Himself, and yet He is the Angel (messenger) of the Lord because He is not the Father, but the Son. Let us begin with the appearance of the Angel to Hagar.
Hagar and the Angel (Genesis 16):
“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarah, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarah,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael,for the Lord has heard of your misery…” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seenthe One who sees me.”
If the Angel of the Lord is merely one of the heavenly court, why are we told that Hagar gave the name “You are the God who sees me” to “the Lord who spoke to her”? And why would she say, “I have now seen the One who sees me”? Hagar clearly perceived in the Angel the Lord God Himself.
Jacob’s reaction to the Angel of the Lord is similar:
Jacob and the Angel (Genesis 32):
“So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him…And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as he wrestled with Him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” [compare Exodus 3:14 and Judges 13:18] And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Penuel:“For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
Note the Angel’s reaction when Jacob asks for His name: “Why is it that you ask about My name?” This reluctance to disclose His name is reminiscent of God’s response to Moses on Mount Sinai: “I am the living one”. “You shall say… “The Living One has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14 [LXX]). The Angel responds in the same way in Judges 13:18: “Why do you ask about my name? It is beyond understanding”.
Furthermore, Jacob called the place Penuel, which means ‘the face of God’, because he believed that in this Angel He had seen God face to face, and was amazed that he had lived to tell the tale.
Manoah and his wife and the Angel (Judges 13):
“The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son…’
Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.” God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!” Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?” “I am,” he said. So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”
The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.” Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you.” The angel of the Lord replied, “Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not realise that it was the angel of the Lord.) Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honour you when your word comes true?” He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.”
Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realised that it was the angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!”
(to be continued)
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry. CLICK HERE to download our brochure.
This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, Orthodox media.
OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.
Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.
ORTHODOX MOBILE APPS ARE HERE!
Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,