12-6 Angels and the Law
ANGELS AND THE END OF THE LAW
We have seen how Angels were associated with the giving of the Law and were responsible for the running of the Mosaic system while it operated in Israel. Given their limited understanding, it is not unreasonable to suspect that they would have had some difficulty comprehending the demise of the Law. It is now suggested that the "war in Heaven" of Revelation 12 describes the massive changeover in the Heavenly organisation during the period when the Law was finally replaced. We have suggested that this resulted in one group of Angels replacing another in the analysis of Dan. 8:8-12 in Chapter 11. As orthodox opponents are quick to point out, there seems a clear parallel between "the prince of this world" being cast out and the devil of Rev. 12 being cast out. I have shown elsewhere (4) that the New Testament devil and satan very often refers to the Jewish as well as Roman system, and that the casting out of the "prince of this world" refers to the ending of the Jewish system and Law of Moses.
The Ending Of The Law
Although technically Christ ended the Law at His death on the cross, there is ample evidence that there was an interim period until AD70 when the Law could still be kept, but at that date it was done away with the destruction of the temple and Jewish aion in the full sense:
- The letter of Acts 15 clearly allowed the Jewish Christians to keep large chunks of the Law; the record is framed to read as if it was a concession that Gentiles did not need to keep the Law in the same way.
- Paul's vow and desire to keep the feasts is more readily understandable if the Law was still in force to a certain extent.
- The impression that Christians maintained fairly free fellowship with the synagogues is hard to accept if the keeping of the Jewish Law was totally against the spirit of Christ.
- Paul generally respected no man's person in standing up for what he believed was Biblical. But in the matter of meat he bent over backwards, despite arguing that Christ had freed us from such legal restraints, "while the (Jewish) world standeth"- i. e. until the Law, which was intrinsically part of the Jewish world, was fully done away with in AD70.
- Col. 2:22 says that the using of the (Mosaic) laws "are to perish" - in the future, i. e. AD70.
- Romans 14 speaks of keeping the Sabbath as a matter of opinion; yet to do so is totally contrary to the spirit of freedom in Christ which we have now the Jewish system has ended. Observing Sabbath days is described as being in bondage to "the weak and beggarly elements" of the Mosaic Law (Gal. 4:9,10; the Greek for "elements" is always used concerning the elements of the Mosaic Law).
It is the latter part of this period of transition which is outlined in Revelation 12. The key to this passage is found in Matthew 24:7-10. The political instability around Palestine before AD70 heralded "the beginning" of birth pains. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake". A woman in labour followed by an immediate affliction and persecution after the delivery appears again in Rev. 12. Such symbology is too specific for there to be no connection between the two accounts. The 'killing' of Matt. 24:9 implies persecution rather than actual death of the child or mother, seeing that the rest of the chapter goes on to describe how the elect will be saved, taken away, endure to the end, etc. The parallel passage in Luke 21 defines these persecutions as coming from "the synagogues". Rev. 12 describes the mother/ baby persecutor as the satan-dragon, whom we have defined as the Jewish system. The mention of the serpent and devil together in Rev. 12 invites comparison with Christ's description of the Jews as a generation (gendered by) snakes, and therefore of their father the devil (John 8:44).