8-4 Angelic Help

We will see in Chapter 12 that the Angels were responsible for the spiritual strengthening of our Lord against temptation , and they therefore do the same for us, whose nature He shared. One of the ways the Angels spiritually strengthen us is by revealing the understanding of God's word to us, as they initially inspired it. The following gently hint this way:

- "Gabriel. . being caused to fly swiftly. . . informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding" in the word of God He had previously revealed to him (Dan. 9:21,22). The Angel flying swiftly should be compared with the passages which talk about running swiftly in order to understand and obey God's word (Hab. 2:2; Amos 8:11,12; Ps. 147:15; Dan. 12:4; 2 Thess. 3:1). Dan. 8:18 also describes how the Angel gave Daniel spiritual revelation.

- Reflecting on the Angel leading Israel in the pillar of fire, Nehemiah reflects "Thou (the Angel) gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna  from  their  mouth"  (Neh. 9:20).  In  passing,  the association of an Angel with God's "good spirit" suggests that the good and evil spirits that troubled Saul were actually Angelically-controlled dispositions of mind, co-ordinated by two different Angels. This giving of a new heart to Saul by the Angel (1 Sam. 10:9) appears to be the basis of Jer. 31:33, where God says He will make a new Covenant with them (remember it was an Angel who made the Old Covenant also), when He "will put My Law in their inward parts. . . and will be their God" . 'The God of Israel' is an Angelic title (see Chapter 2). This giving a new heart to Israel described here and in Jer. 32:39 and Ez. 36:26 appears to be over and above Israel's personal spirituality, although as with the case of Saul it will probably be a vast magnification of some small spiritual effort made of their own freewill, as Saul must surely have had. Yet these words are quoted in the New Testament about  God doing this to our hearts now (Heb. 8:10); inviting us to read the other passages in the New Testament concerning the Spirit creating a new mind or creation in us as referring to the Angel magnifying and developing the initial freewill effort that we make to be spiritual. In this light consider Acts 15:8,9; 2 Cor. 3:3; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 3:14-20. The Angels being so strongly associated with the word of God invites us to think that they act in large measure through the word in effecting this 'magnification' of our own effort.

- Rabshakeh retreated from Jerusalem because God “put a spirit in him” (Is. 37:7 RV). The AV has: “I will send a blast / spirit upon him”. Was it not that the Angel who later destroyed him came upon him and put a spirit / disposition of mind within him that made him want to retreat?

- "For God giveth to a man that is good in His sight (the Angels are God's eyes) wisdom, and knowledge, and joy" (Ecc. 2:26).

- "There is a spirit (capacity to spiritually understand, in the context in which Elihu is speaking) in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8). Does in-spirit-ation have something to do with God's Spirit-Angel (Ps. 104:3,4) reviving this spiritual capacity in man?

- Perhaps the satan which moved David to number Israel was a Satan-Angel (2 Sam. 24:1), acting directly on David's heart to bring about a trial for both David and Israel? This is one of the many indications that the numbering of the people was not David's sin. And perhaps it was a Satan-Angel that stood at Judas' right hand (i. e. to influence him), confirming him in the way he had chosen to go, as God hardened Pharaoh's already hard heart (Ps. 109:6,7).

The passages which talk about God's face shining upon men refer primarily to the Angel in the Most Holy shining forth in blessing upon men. Ps. 119:135 has the same idea: "Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach me Thy statutes". Here the reference to the Angel is paralleled with having the understanding opened to the Word, implying that the Angels (especially our guardian who knows our needs so much?) open our eyes to the word (Ps. 119:18).

The Work Of The Spirit

The knotty problem of the Holy Spirit starts to be resolved if we accept that God does all things by His Spirit, and that the Angels use the Spirit of God to help us understand the word, e. g. through the word itself or through bringing trials into our lives. "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law" (Ps. 119:18) may be alluding to the Angel opening Hagar's eyes to see a well of water (cp. the word) in the desert (Gen. 21:19). Indeed, the "Holy Spirit" may refer to a specific Angel set apart for this purpose of strengthening us so that we might reach the Kingdom, like the wilderness Angel provided Israel with the manna (= the word of God, so Jesus reasons in Jn. 6) and every type of sustenance in order that they should get through the wilderness to the promised land. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is associated with our calling and chosing. The Angel was associated with the sealing of the believers (Rev. 7:2,3). We must not "grieve the Holy Spirit of God (cp. how Israel vexed the Holy Spirit Angel-Is. 63:10) whereby ye are sealed". Eph. 4:30 also links this grieving the Holy Spirit (referring to the Holy Spirit Angel of Is. 63:10) and abusing God's sealing of us, as if by the unspiritual behaviour Paul is speaking of in Eph. 4 we will truly grieve or sadden our Angel who has sealed us.

"The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His" (2 Tim. 2:19). Thus the Angelic Holy Spirit sealing is associated with God's foreknowledge. "Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son (in spiritual attributes). . . whom He did predestinate, them He also called. . . justified. . . glorified. . . if  God  be  for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:29-31). Our being known by God at the beginning, our predestination, our calling and final glorification are all things  which  are achieved by the Holy Spirit sealing Angel. The sealing is also associated with the circumcision of the heart (mind) in Rom. 4:11, and with believing the word (Jn. 3:33) and believing in Christ (1 Jn. 5:10). All these things are ultimately the result of our freewill. Further connection between the seal and the word is found in the following comparison:

Deuteronomy 11:18                 

Song 8:6

"Lay up these words in your heart 

"Set me (the bridegroom, Jesus, the Word) as a

. . . and bind them for a sign upon (thee)"                           

seal upon thine heart"

“Bind (these words) for a sign upon your hand".      

"A seal upon thine arm"

Because being sealed is an individual process (Jn. 3:33 "he has set to his seal. . . "), it would be fitting if our guardian angel was heavily involved in this work, revealing those things to us from the word which will help us circumcise our mind and overcome our personal weaknesses, in response to our desire for those things.

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