The New Testament was written before the year AD70. This is significant because the temple and Jerusalem were still standing when these Scriptures were written.
The significance of the destruction of the temple was the end of the Law and the Mosaic practices. So when you read the Scriptures, you will hear words like, “the glory is fading away” or “the old covenant is fading away”. These words were written in this manner because the Christians at that time who were predominantly Jews knew the temple and Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. So today when you see this words. Please note that they are no longer “fading away”, they have faded away.
The significance of the destruction of the Jerusalem is this. Jesus is the Olivet discourse said this is end of the world. The better translations speaks of it as the end of the Age. It must be understand to the Jews it meant the end of their history. Jesus told these Jews to flee and not to go into Jerusalem. He knew Israel would be wipe off the earth until the “times of the Gentiles”. Hence to the Jews it was the end of their “world”. Jesus in making this prophecy states it is the passing away of “heaven (the temple) and earth (Jerusalem)”. To them therefore was the end of the world.
This is important for us to note. When the apostles wrote about the world being destroyed by fire, and that the day of judgment is near, or that the end of the “world” is near, they are referring to this event. A total of more than a million Jews died. It was the day of vengeance The Lord was speaking about. Joel mentioned this in the second chapter when he said the “sun will be darkened and the moon will not give out its light”. He also mentioned about an invasion of locusts known as the “army of The Lord”. This army is none other than the Roman army which took siege of Jerusalem.
This fact is important because all the warnings pertaining to the 10 virgins, people who are taken away from the fields in the late part of Matthew points to this. Also the discipline of The Lord warned in Hebrews 12 is to get people ready for this event. To flee Jerusalem. This is also what Hebrews 13 meant by the “shaking” of the heavens.
To understand this, you must understand the Law was governed by the angels. This is the message of the angels which the writer of Hebrews said in chapter 2:2. Paul also says this in Galatians 3 when he mentioned the angels were the guardians of God’s justice until the coming of the Son.
Paul also calls this “the worship of angels.” It does not mean that the Jews worshipped angels but it does mean that this a system wherein the blood was offered to appease the juridical system under the angelic age. Jesus when he died placed the Law under his tomb and ended this angelic reign. That is why the writer of Hebrews tell us Jesus is greater than the angels so as to tell you to embrace Jesus rather than the Law.
Paul also tells that when Jesus died, he stripped the principalities of their authority. These means we are no longer under the angelic system. That system is known as the Law. That is why Hebrews 10 tells us that Jesus never wanted the sacrifices. It was the Law who demanded it.
In Hebrews 10:26 there is a sober warning that if people continue in the Temple worship, judgment and a “raging fire” would visit the enemies of God. This is a reference to the destruction of the Temple which was to take place 7 years from the time Hebrews was written.
Hence when you near of the warnings of the heavens being shaken, it means that the angels are being moved. This is both symbolic and literal. In Hebrews 12 the “shaking” of the heavens is spoken at the same breath as the angels no longer being on Sinai but on Zion. They are no longer judgmental as they had been on Sinai but now are “joyful” in Zion. This is what it means by the shaking of the heavens.
This is so clear when Mary visited the tomb of Jesus and found angels seated. They are no longer standing. The events I am speaking to you about actually tells you the day of the Lord’s vengeance is over. That Jesus’ return in glory in the clouds is also over. Jesus himself predicted that those who crucified him will actually see his return in glory. The “coming in the clouds” is actually a Hebrew term for “judgment”. You would see this in the judgment of Tyre and some Old Testament references especially in Isaiah.
You must understand today we are not awaiting for that return, we are looking forward to THE return where he comes for his glorious bride. So they are two distinct returns. I am writing this not to confuse you but rather free you from confusion.
I am writing this to you because for many years we have been thought the passages in the epistles about the world being destroyed by fire is not made in reference to our world but to the world where Jesus lived in. The Jewish world and the religion of Judaism. This is what Paul meant by “we are no longer under Law, but under Grace”. This is also what the writer of Hebrews meant by “we do not have an endearing city” and why he asks his readers to look forward to a new Jerusalem.
It is no wonder The Lord is raising pastors who teach radical grace. It is true. You are no longer under the Law. You are not of the old covenant. You also must understand therefore all the warnings about going back into the “world” had meant going back to the Jewish “world and it’s religion” the Law.
So I pray you read your Bible differently. The “man of lawlessness” and 666 is already known to us. He is actually Nero. In certain parts of Peter and Paul’s writings they even mentioned that they knew when was the coming of the “thief in the night” and how they tell them to flee Jerusalem. Make “every effort” to enter into enter into that rest, the writer of Hebrews 4 says. Then he adds the word of Hod is sharper than the double edged sword. This is a reference not to the written word but Jesus the living word. You will see this in the book of Revelations. This reference of “sword” means judgment. Therefore the writer of Hebrews is saying make sure you escape this “judgment” in AD70 against the unbelieving and wicked generation in Jesus lifetime.
Therefore it is imperative for us to know this. There is a return of The Lord. Not to bring judgment anymore but to bring salvation to those who have believed (here in the Jews in its context). He comes for his beautiful bride the church. He comes to bring salvation to the nation of Israel as their king. You and I who are Gentiles are saved the minute we believed. The forgiveness becomes real to us even though he had forgiven us on the cross. For the Jew salvation does not only mean his soul is secured, it must also mean his nation is restored and ruled by his Messiah.
That is also why there is great apparent “confusion” in the Scriptures as to whether we are “saved” or “will be saved”. It really depends who the audience is and what the subject matter is being referred to. I hope this simple note will bless you. I am looking for the coming. I am looking towards the resurrection of the Living. I am looking toward the Saviour of my soul. I know. I am already saved. Can Jesus save you now?