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Study 1 Picture Study 2: The Language of Angels
2-1  THE LORD OF HOSTS || 2-2.  "THE GOD OF JACOB"  || 2-3  "THE MOST HIGH" || 2-4  "THE HAND OF THE LORD"  || 2-5  "THE EYES OF THE LORD"  || 2-6  "THE PRESENCE"  || 2-7  "THE FEAR OF GOD" || 2-8  "THE HOLY ONE  OF ISRAEL"  || 2-9  "COME DOWN" || 2-10  "VISIT" / "Lord God of Hosts" 

2. 9  "COME DOWN"

We will suggest in Chapter 6 that when the Angels are spoken of as physically moving, they do literally move- they allow themselves to a large degree  to  be  bounded  by space. The ideas of God visiting men and coming down therefore often have an Angelic reference. The implication in these phrases that God has to come down in order to visit men and see how they are is obvious language of limitation and therefore often applies to Angels. The Hebrew for "come down" is often used to describe  literal physical movement.

- "The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men builded" at Babel. This language of limitation must be concerning the Angels, seeing that God is aware of all things. The Angelic response was "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language" (Gen. 11:5,7). This recalls  the Angels' words of Gen. 1:26 "Let us make man in our image".

- In the same way the Angels responded to news of Sodom's sins by saying "I (God manifest in the Angels) will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know" (Gen. 18:21). The two Angels were therefore sent to Sodom, and decided "We will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord" (Angelic language; e. g. Ex. 33:12 cp. 20); Gen. 19:13. God coming down was therefore in the form of the Angels sent to Sodom.

- Ex. 3:8 is very clear- the Angel in the burning bush says "I am come down to deliver" Israel.

- Many  passages  talk  of  the  Angel's  presence on Mount Sinai as God coming down there- e. g.  Ex. 19:11,20; Neh. 9:13

- The Angel in the pillar of cloud that spoke regularly to Moses is described as the Lord coming down to him (Num. 11:17,25; 12:5).

- 2 Sam. 22 is a chapter full of reference to God's manifestation through the Angels (see Chapter 3). Verse 10 describes God bowing the Heavens and coming down in this context. Similar passages are found in Ps. 18:9; 144:5.

- Elijah's commanding of fire to "come down" from Heaven to destroy the bands of men sent to capture him (2 Kings 1:10) was probably effected by Angelic means, similar to how "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty Angels, in flaming fire (cp. Ps. 104:4) taking vengeance on them that know not God" (2 Thess. 1:7,8).

- Fire coming down from Heaven (e. g. 2 Chron. 7:1) to consume acceptable sacrifices probably refers to the Angels being made a flame of fire (Ps. 104:4) to consume the sacrifice. In 2 Chron. 7:1  this  would  be by  the  Angel  dwelling in the temple. The same scenario was probably seen in Eden, when the Angel cherubim consumed the sacrifices.

- Mic. 1:12 describes evil coming down from the Lord- created by God (Is. 45:7) by His "Angels of evil" (Ps. 78:49).

2. 10  "VISIT"

- "The Lord visited Sarah as He had said" (Gen. 21:1)- it was an Angel who made the promises to her about Isaac and whom Abraham entertained at that time. Similarly in 1 Sam. 2:21 "The Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived"- most other cases of barren women conceiving are related to an Angel, and so this visiting of Hannah was most likely also Angelic.

- Joseph prophesied to Israel :"God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land" (Gen. 50:24; see Ex. 13:19 too)- a promise alluded to by the Angel in the burning bush who was sent to fulfil it (Ex. 3:16,17; 4:31).

- The Angel who made the promises and spoke to Israel from Sinai explained that He would punish them for their disobedience. Many times this punishment is described as God visiting Israel for their sins (e. g. Hos. 9:9-note the Angelic context).

- Ps. 59:5 "O Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel (both Angelic terms), awake (language of Angelic limitation) to visit all the heathen". See Is. 29:6; Zech. 10:3; Jer. 11:22,23; 50:31; Amos 3:13,14 for other examples.

- Ps. 80 has many Angelic references. In this context we find (v. 14):"O God of Hosts (Angels): look down from Heaven (the Angels are God's eyes; note the language of limitation), and behold, and visit this vine" (Jesus-v. 17).

- Jeremiah pleads "Visit me. . O Lord God of Hosts" (Angels)- Jer. 15:15,16.

-  The Angel shepherd of Israel  promised to "visit upon you the evil of your doings" (Jer. 23:2).

- The Jews were to remain in Babylon "until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place" (Jer. 27:22). "After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you and perform My good word toward you" (Jer. 29:10). This visiting to bring about the restoration was clearly the work of Angels (see 'Angels and the Restoration').

- Acts 15:14: "Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name". Peter had explained the story of Cornelius' conversion, which the record in Acts 10 emphasizes was the result of Angelic  work.  The  visiting of the Gentiles with the Gospel was therefore arranged by Angels. 'Angels and the end of the Law' (see Chapter 12) suggests that there was  a group of Angels whose task it was to end the system of spiritual prejudice towards the Jews and open the way for salvation based on faith rather than race.

- Mic. 7:4 tells us that the day of Israel's visitation will be executed by her watchmen- the Angels (Is. 62:6 AVmg. ; Dan. 4:13,17,23; and see Chapter 8 for an explanation of how the Angel eyes of God watch over the outworking of His word with Israel).

- The Jews knew not the time of their visitation- by Christ and the Angels in AD70 (Lk. 19:44; 1 Peter 2:12).

- The book of Job speaks of Job's trials as a result of God visiting Job (e. g. 35:15)- when in practice those trials were brought by his satan-Angel (see Chapter 9).

- One of the characteristics of the Angel that declared God's Name to Israel was that He would visit "the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and fourth generation" (Ex. 34:7). The fact this was not always done because it depended upon the response of individuals indicates that such language cannot be true of God Himself. It is more relevant to the Angels, who are capable of changing their decreed intentions. In passing, another possibility is that "I punish the children" (Ex. 20:6 etc) is an allusion to the ancient legal practice of punishing all members of a household (as with Achan)- and three or four generations at most would live in an extended household. So the idea could refer to the punishment of entire households, rather than a prediction that Divine judgment would as it were stalk the generations of the sinner.