Who was the God of Bethel?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" teaches that Jesus did not pre-exist. However, some narratives in the Bible, such as the angel who appeared to Jacob when he was cheated by Laban seem to teach that Jesus pre-existed. Does this passage really teach that Jesus pre-existed?
When we read Genesis 31, we see that the angel of the Lord who appeared to Jacob must be Jesus.
The angel of the Lord is a man.
Genesis 31:11 (ESV) - 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am!'
Additionally, since this one is a messenger of God, we know that this cannot be the Father himself.
The angel of the Lord calls himself God.
Genesis 31:11-13 (ESV) - 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.'"
Why does this messenger of God call himself God? It is because he is God. He is not the Father, but he shares the being of God. Who is the man who was sent by God and shares the being of God? It is Jesus! Jesus is the angel of the Lord.
The INC foolishly denies the pre-existence of Christ and his deity. If he did not pre-exist and if he is not God, then we would have no way of explaining the angel of the Lord, the messenger of God, who is also called God.