On the Epistles of John, Part 2: The Propitiation for Sin
In our opening presentation in this commentary, discussing 1 John chapter 1, we saw the apostle repeat particular themes from his Gospel in relation to the nature of Christ, that, among other things, He is the Word of Life, and He is the true Light come into the World. Doing that, we used an accompanying illustration which seeks to describe the various ways in which Yahweh, the Invisible God, chose to manifest Himself in the world. Among these are the burning in the bush which appeared to Moses, the pillars of cloud and fire which led the Israelites out of Egypt, the Rock in the desert, and finally, as the man Yahshua Christ, who is also the Son. Sadly, there are trinitarians who also call themselves Christian Identity, but who do not realize that the concept of the trinity is contrary to the truth of God.
It is not that Yahweh God became or made Himself into a pillar of smoke or a pillar of fire, but that He used the pillars of smoke and fire as signs indicating that He was present with the children of Israel to lead them out of Egypt. So from the perspective of man, we read in Exodus chapter 13 that “21… the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:” Likewise, in Exodus chapter 3, while the burning in the bush was initially called an “angel”, an angel is only a messenger, and an angel does not have to be a sentient being, as even the elements of Creation may be used by God to send a message. So after Moses wrote that “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire”, as it is in the King James Version, in that same place we then read: “4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” It was not an angel who spoke to Moses, but Yahweh God Himself, described as being in the flames in the bush. Therefore the flames themselves were the angel, as they were employed to attract the attention of Moses and to represent to presence of the Invisible God. Perhaps trinitarians may imagine Moses to have been speaking to a man with wings and a white garment sitting in the flames in a bush, but that is not what the Scripture implies.