Alma 8:16 - 8:20
Alma 8:16 And behold, I am sent to command thee that thou return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city; yea, preach unto them. Yea, say unto them, except they repent the Lord God will destroy them.
The angel has been sent to command Alma to return to Ammonihah and preach to them that if they do not repent, they will be destroyed by the Lord.
It is interesting that the angel says the Lord will do it. He just does not say they will be destroyed, but at whose direction. We may think that destruction is just a natural consequence of actions, but here it is going to control of the Lord Himself.
Alma 8:17 For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people, (for thus saith the Lord) which is contrary to the statutes, and judgments, and commandments which he has given unto his people.
The angel says why the Lord will do this. The people of Ammonihah or at least the majority of the people are trying figure out ways to take down the church and the government or at least try to take it over eventually. This not what the Lord said he will allow to happen to the righteous if they are in the majority.
It is one thing to want to take over, but quite another to be actively trying to do so. They are working among themselves making plans and thinking of ways to accomplish their goal. When people get to that point, that is at least one criteria for destruction by the Lord.
Alma 8:18 Now it came to pass that after Alma had received his message from the angel of the Lord he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah. And he entered the city by another way, yea, by the way which is on the south of the city of Ammonihah.
Alma wasted no time after the angel departed and return to the city and entered from another direction from the south.
I’m guessing that this will allow him to enter the city and not be stopped by folks who may be in large numbers, such as at a public market, near the area of the main entrance what may have been where most people congregate or enter the city by.
Alma 8:19 And as he entered the city he was an hungered, and he said to a man: Will ye give to an humble servant of God something to eat?
Alma had been praying and fasting all the time after he left Ammonihah and was very hungry when he entered Ammonihah. As he entered he approached a man and asked for something to eat and introduced him as a humble servant of God.
Alma 8:20 And the man said unto him: I am a Nephite, and I know that thou art a holy prophet of God, for thou art the man whom an angel said in a vision: Thou shalt receive. Therefore, go with me into my house and I will impart unto thee of my food; and I know that thou wilt be a blessing unto me and my house.
The man introduces himself as a Nephite. In addition, the man knows that Alma is a holy prophet. The reason he knows is that an angel came to him and commended him to take in Alma and feed him to end his fast. And what’s more, his helping Alma and taking him in would be a blessing to him and his household.
Not sure why the man introduces himself as a Nephite. That might be an indication that he is not an enemy to the church or to Alma. Because I know the what events are described in the next few chapters with the destruction of his town and maybe members of his immediate family, one might wonder how it could be a blessing to him to help Alma. But one has to remember that Amulek, who is this man’s name, will be given the change to have the gospel in his life and play a major role in the spreading of the gospel and the conversion of many to it.