God has relied on messengers throughout history, but tracking the messengers of God through Scripture reveals some interesting things about God’s character and His word. It also has implications for those that make claims about their own supposed “anointing” by God to speak His words today.

God hasn’t always used messengers. There are several examples of in early Bible history of God speaking directly with man. For example, God speaking to Job and his friends in “the whirlwind” (Job 38) and God speaking to Moses in the “burning bush” (Exodus 3). But when messengers of God were used, who were they?

how Scripture answers "Who are the messengers of God?"

While there was a time in history that God spoke to man directly, that ended with Moses2. At that time, Angels communicated God’s first covenant1,10,14,15. Prophets then dominated the scene (roughly 1,500-400BC), speaking God’s words while reconfirming the Law to the people1,8,9,10,12,13. The final prophet1,5 and the One that all prior messengers pointed toward3,9 was Jesus Christ7. His Gospel message superseded the Old Law14 as He was superior to all prior messengers of God1,3,5,6…as well as messengers not from God11.

During Jesus’ ministry and especially after His ascension, Apostles carried His message forward9,16 during the first century. Building on Jesus and the Prophets before, they formed the foundation for “the household of God”4His kingdom – the church. All of these combine to form what we have today in the Bible, the complete and final word of God. As Christians, we are called to preach and teach it – God’s literal words – without adding to or taking away from it (Revelation 22:18-19).

the answer above is based on and footnoted with the following Scripture Blocks
1
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

In a previous time God spoke to man through the prophets, but now (“these last days”) He has spoken through His son, Jesus Christ. Additionally, God appointed Him heir of all things and through Him created the world.

Opening to the letter of Hebrews, written to Jews that had believed and obeyed the gospel.  The writer is beginning his argument and evidence for why everything is better in Jesus by pointing to the prophets (and angels) that had, in times past, delivered God’s message.

How does it inform?

Prophets (and angels in the broader context) were messengers of God, but His Son was the ultimate and final messenger.

Does it apply? Yes

2
And he said, Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.
God said, “Hear me: if there is a prophet among you, I made myself known to him (or speak to him) in a vision (or dream).

Moses has led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and Miriam and Aaron (his sister and bother) are questioning Moses’ authority with Miriam’s statement, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” (vs 2)  God hears this and is not at all pleased with them.

How does it inform?

God is acknowledging Moses as a prophet of some distinction, as He talked with him “mouth to mouth” and not in a vision as with other prophets.

Does it apply? Yes

3
And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah. He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
Moses and Elijah appeared talking with him [Jesus] at which point Peter said, “Lord, it is good we are here.  If you like, we can make three tabernacles for each of you.” And while he was speaking, a bright cloud came overhead and a voice said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

Jesus has taken Peter, James and John with Him to a high mountain where they witness His transfiguration.

How does it inform?

God instructs that Jesus is the one to whom they should now pay heed, superseding Moses (representing the time of the Mosaic Law) and Elijah (representing the time of the prophets).

Does it apply? Yes

4
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

You are no longer set apart, but now are fellow citizens with the saints of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone, in whom the entire building joins together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In Christ, you also are adding together to form a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Paul is pointing out to the Ephesians and Gentile Christians, that though they were at one time “called the uncircumcision by the circumcised” (vs 11), they are now part of the inheritance in Christ as a result of the “peace” that has been preached (vs 18).

How does it inform?

The apostles and prophets formed the basis for “the household of God” and Jesus is the basis as well as the mortar (glue) holding it together.

Does it apply? Yes

5
Moses said, The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people. And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.

Moses said that God would raise up a prophet like him from amongst you and to him you will listen (Deuteronomy 18:15).  Further he said that any that don’t listen will be destroyed (Deuteronomy 18:19).  All the prophets from Samuel onward have proclaimed these days.

Peter (with John) is addressing the crowd gathered at Solomon’s porch in his second recorded sermon.  He refers to the prophets and their testimony as his primary argument for the “times of refreshing” – the sending of the Christ – that they were experiencing (vs 20).

How does it inform?

Peter confirms that Moses’ words about a prophet greater than himself was foretelling Jesus.

Does it apply? Yes

6
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

From His fullness we have all received grace compounded/overflowing.  For while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth became fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

John’s gospel opening declaring the supremacy of Jesus, being in the beginning with God and becoming the Word incarnate on earth.

How does it inform?

John is emphasizing the completion of God’s revelation through the sending of His son.

Does it apply? Yes

7
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
But we see that Jesus, who was crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering and death, was made lower than the angels for a time, in order that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone.

The writer is concluding his introductory argument of Jesus’ supremacy over all of those messengers that for the Jew have come before.  Specifically, he has contrasted Jesus against the prophets and angels by “calling forward” and interpreting several Old Testament prophecies and sayings.

How does it inform?

Jesus is superior to angels but for a time was “made lower” when He became flesh and lived as a man.

Does it apply? Yes

8
Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
Samuel was a young man while serving God under Eli, and the word of God was rare in those days due to infrequent visions.

The book of Samuel chronicles the rise of kings (namely Saul and David) leading Israel.  This chapter in particular chronicles “that Samuel And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.” (vs 20)

How does it inform?

Marks a transition into a period of prophets as the primary conduit between God and the people.

Does it apply? Yes

9
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ and called to be an apostle set apart for preaching the gospel of God, which He promised in earlier times through His prophets in Scripture.

Introduction of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome.

How does it inform?

Paul identifies two messengers of God: apostles “set apart” for preaching the gospel and prophets who spoke about its coming.

Does it apply? Yes

10
Now the angel of the LORD had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. So David went up at Gad’s word, which he had spoken in the name of the LORD.

The angel of God commanded Gad to tell David that he should raise an altar to God on the thrashing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  So David did what Gad had said on God’s authority.

David has performed a census of the people of Israel that was against God’s instruction/authority.  As a result, God “struck Israel” (vs 7) and David learns of the remedy for his sin through his seer, or prophet (xref

1 Samuel 9:9
), Gad (vs 9).

How does it inform?

God wants to give David an instruction but first gives it to an angel who in turn gives it to Gad (a prophet) who in turn tells David.

Does it apply? Yes

11
And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

When they say to inquire of mediums, should you not instead inquire of God? Why inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? Go to God’s word! They have no hope unless they seek His word.

In the midst of Isaiah’s prophesying about Assyria and their invasion “reaching even to the neck” of Judah (vs 8), God still speaks through him about them needing to fear Him and wait on Him.  He alludes to the eventual coming of Jesus who will be both “a sanctuary and a stone of offense” to Israel (already wiped away by Assyria) and Judah (soon to be taken away by Babylon) in vs 14 — quoted and interpreted for us by both Paul (Rom 9:33) and Peter (1 Peter 2:8).
How does it inform?

Spiritual mediums clearly are NOT messengers of God. The context further points to the ultimate messenger of God being Jesus Christ.

!! study note: context is extra important here !!

Does it apply? Yes

12
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
The people wander when there is no prophetic vision, but happy is the one that keeps the law [of God].

A general proverb of wisdom.

How does it inform?

A proverb of Solomon’s day testifying to the prophets as the source of God’s revealed word.

Does it apply? Yes

13
Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
Still, God warned Israel and Judah by every prophet/seer telling them to turn from their evil ways and follow His commandments according to all the Law that was given to their fathers and sent to them by His servants the prophets.

The account of God’s final judgment on Israel (ten northern tribes) through Assyria and a summary of what led to their captivity – primarily their worship of “other gods” and following “the customs of the nations” around them (vs 7-8).  Also condemns Judah (two southern tribes) of doing the same and foreshadowing their own eventual judgement.

How does it inform?

During this time of the kings, prophets were messengers of God’s law to his people (Israel) that had initially been given by God to their fathers (e.g. Moses).

Does it apply? Yes

14
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.
Why then the law [of Moses]? It was introduced because of sins, until the offspring [Jesus] should come to those to whom the promise had been made [the Gentiles], and it [law of Moses] was put in place through angels by an intermediary [Moses].

Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia (a region) with the primary audience seeming to be the Gentile Christians (1:16).  Chapter 3 specifically argues the Christian’s justification through the [New] law of Christ, not the [Old] law of Moses.

How does it inform?

The Old Law of Moses was put in place or communicated by angels and has been replaced or superseded by the New Law communicated through Jesus Christ.

Does it apply? Yes

15
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.

You, the very ones that received the law from angels but did not keep it, persecuted and killed all of the prophets that announced the coming of Jesus Christ who you now have betrayed and murdered.

Stephen has been brought before the Jewish High Priest and council on charges of blasphemy against God and Moses (6:11).  The entire chapter seven is his public defense before he is ultimately stoned to death.

How does it inform?

The Mosaic law was delivered by angels.

Does it apply? Yes

16
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

I [Jesus] don’t pray for these only [disciples, particularly apostles], but for all that will believe in Me through their word.  In order that all may be one, just as You, the Father are in Me and I in You, that they will be in Us so that the world might believe that You have sent Me.

Jesus’ prayer in his final hours on earth, sometimes referred to as the “High Priestly Prayer.” He has been praying for the apostles (vss 6-18) stating that one was lost to Satan (vs 12) and that “I have given them your word” (vs 14).
How does it inform?

The Apostles carried Jesus’ (e.g. God’s) message forward.

Does it apply? Yes

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