Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1159 MP3 Audio File Video File

The Coming Vengeance

2 Thessalonians 1:8

Delivered 03/12/23

Good morning, Bereans. We are continuing our study of 2 Thessalonians this morning. In our last study we looked at verses 6 and 7 of chapter 1. And we tried to stress that Paul was promising "them," (the first-century Thessalonian believers), rest from their persecution and suffering at the Parousia.

since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 ESV

Paul promises the first-century Thessalonian believers that God was going to do two things:

  1. repay with affliction those who afflict you and
  2. give YOU that are afflicted rest."

We focused on the fact that if God was going to give THEM rest, his "revelation" must have been in the first century.

For our study this morning we are going to be looking at verse 8 and The Coming Vengeance.

in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ESV

Paul amplified the judgment of the ungodly alluded to in 1:6 when he wrote: "God is going to repay with affliction those who afflict you." At the revelation, Yeshua was going to come in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance. We'll look at the vengeance in a minute, but I first want to focus on WHOM the vengeance was coming upon.

"Those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua"—some scholars think that these two phrases refer to two distinct groups:

1. the Gentiles who "do not know God" and                                                           

2. the Jews "who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua."                   

Others think that Paul us using synonymous parallelism in which both descriptions refer to both Jews and Gentiles.

Marshall rightly points out that, "Sometimes the Gentiles are described as those who are ignorant of God (see 1 Thess. 4:5; and Ps. 79:6 [78:6]; Jer. 10:25) and the Jews as those who are disobedient (Isa. 66:4; Acts 7:39; Rom. 10:16), Paul also accuses both groups of being disobedient (Rom. 11:30–32). Also, both the OT and the NT occasionally describe the Jews as those who are ignorant of the true God (Jer. 4:22; 9:3, 6; Hos. 5:4; John 8:55)."

What Marshal says is true, but notice what Paul says in his first letter to them:

not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:5 ESV
in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ESV

This exact phrase, "who do not know God" (τα μη ειδοτα τον θεον) is only used twice in the New Testament—once in 1 Thessalonians and once in 2 Thessalonians. The first usage says that it is "Gentiles who do not know God." The second usage is "Those who do not know God." So, who are the "those"? Paul told the Thessalonians in his first letter to them that it was the Gentiles. Would it make sense to refer to those who don't know God as Gentiles in his first letter and then use the exact same phrase in the second letter with a different meaning?

To defend my position, I appeal to Scholar Gordon Clark who, commenting on this text, writes "Furthermore, there are articles before both 'do not know' and 'do not obey.' Were there but one article, there could have been only one class. But two articles strongly indicate, indeed grammatically demand, two classes. The conclusion is that 'do not know God' refers to the Gentiles, and 'do not obey' refers to the Jews… The grammar is the determinative."

Speaking of Israel Paul writes,

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. Romans 9:3-5 ESV

The Israelites knew God! They alone had the covenants and the promises.           Conversely Paul says that the Gentiles were strangers to the covenants of promise.

Therefore, remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:11-12 ESV

So, we have two different groups that were persecuting the Thessalonian believers and causing them suffering. Both of these groups would be dealt with at the Parousia.

"Those who do not obey the gospel"—this is one of those phrases that the Lordship people use to try to prove that obedience is necessary for salvation.  

Commentator, Stephen J. Cole, writes the following: "Believing the gospel entails obeying the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:36 equates believing in Jesus with obeying Jesus."

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36 ESV

The word translated "does not obey" in the ESV and "believeth not" in the KJV is not the common word for "not believe" (apisteo) but is rather the verb used here (apeitheo). The leading Greek Lexicon of the New Testament by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker makes a very insightful comment about apeitheo, shedding light on John 3:36: "Since in the view of the early Christians, the supreme disobedience was a refusal to believe their Gospel, apeitheo may be restricted in some passages to the meaning: 'disbelieve, be an unbeliever'" (BAGD, p.82).

Cole goes on to say that "Paul referred to 'the obedience of faith.'"

through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, Romans 1:5 ESV

Paul was the apostle to the nations, and his calling was to "bring about the obedience of faith." The significance of the genitive of pistis ("of faith") is disputed. Some take it as a subjective genitive giving it the sense of "obedience that comes from faith." But it can also be taken as an appositional construction and should then be translated as: "the obedience that is faith." Acceptance of the Gospel in faith can be described as an act of obedience.

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"  Romans 10:16 ESV

The word "obeyed" is the Greek word hupakouo, which means "to obey." The parallelism of the two lines reveals that disobedience consists in failure to believe.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24 ESV

Eternal life is a result of believing. In a chapter where Yeshua continually says you can't believe unless you are called, He says:

"This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."  John 6:29 ESV
Yeshua said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 ESV
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."  John 6:40 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. John 6:47 ESV

According to Scripture, a person becomes a Christian he understands and believes the Gospel of Yeshua, who is the Christ. At that moment, he is placed into the body of Christ, given Christ's righteousness, indwelt by God, and is as sure of heaven as if he were already there. They are "in Christ." The Scriptures make it quite clear that salvation is a free gift of God's grace.

And yet Cole goes on to say, "If someone claims to believe in Jesus as Savior but he isn't submitting to Jesus as Lord, his claim is questionable. Those who live in disobedience to the Lord Jesus do not know Him and will face His judgment."

In view of this, if you think you are a believer but are living in some area of disobedience to the Lord, what should you do? Assume that you are not a believer? Then what? Well, you should believe in the Lord. You say, I already did that. It must not of worked because I am still disobeying in some areas of my life. This is confusing and discouraging. But if you realize that faith in Christ and faith alone makes you a child of God, when you have sin in your life, you will not question your salvation but will realize that you need to repent of your sin and let the Spirit control you.

Another verse that the Lordship crowd loves to use is 1 John 3:9.

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 ESV

This is not a good translation. The Christian Standard Bible translates it correctly.

Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 CSB

This is saying that if you are born of God, you do not sin because you cannot sin. How does that make you feel? Do you sin? Then, according to this verse, you have not been born of God. Do not go questioning your salvation just yet.

Does Scripture anywhere teach that believers sin? Yes. It continually calls on believers to stop sinning. What John wrote earlier seems to contradict what he writes here.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 ESV

First John 3:9 says that believers do not sin and even cannot sin, but here it says that we are self-deceived if we say we do not have sin. Consider 1 John 2:1.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua the Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 ESV

Here Christians are told not to sin; but if they do sin, they have an advocate with the Father. So, which is it? Do Christians sin or are they unable to sin? When we read 1 John 3:9 in the Christian Standard Bible or in the KJV, we are faced with what seems like a blatant contradiction.

Does Scripture contradict itself? NO! The analogy of faith forbids such a notion. But there must be a way to reconcile these verses. The means of reconciliation is far from agreed upon. There are at least eight different views of how to interpret this verse. If you want to examine this verse in depth, go to the study of 1 John on our website. But for this morning, let me just skip to how I see this.

Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 CSB

The sin which distinguishes the children of the devil is sin which has its roots in lawlessness (anomia—i.e. rebellion against God). It is this sin that believers cannot commit because God's seed remains in them. The children of God do sometimes commit sins (2:1), but the one thing they do not do is commit anomia or the sin of rebellion, the sin of the devil.

We could say that the sin that John is talking about in 1 John 3:4-10 is the sin of rejecting Christ.

Everyone who has been born of God does not sin [reject Christ], because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin [reject Christ], because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 CSB Note: words in brackets added (DBC).

Believers, we sin, and quite often on a regular basis, but our sin is not unto death. This verse is telling us that we cannot commit the sin that unbelievers do—the sin that leads to death (i.e., rejecting Christ).

The Lordship group will also run to Hebrews 5:9.

And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, Hebrews 5:9 ESV

They use this verse to try to prove that obedience is necessary for eternal life. If Paul is using "salvation" here as justification or eternal life, then works are a condition. This would be teaching "salvation" by works. Does this fit with the Analogy of faith? No. The Scriptures clearly teach that eternal life is a gift of grace.

A true understanding of Hebrews 5:9 must begin with a definition of "salvation." The majority of English readers see this word and automatically think that it entails eternal life and salvation from the eternal judgment of God. But the Greek verb sozo (to save) and the noun soteria (salvation) have a wide range of possible meanings. They can be referring to physical healing, rescue from danger, spiritual deliverance of various kinds, or to preservation from final judgement. We must determine its meaning from its usage in the context. And the context here is not "eternal life" but endurance, deliverance (Hebrews 4:14-16).

The word "obey" is from the Greek word hupakouo which comes from two words: hupo ("under") and akouo ("to hear"). The meaning, then, is "to obey something you've heard." It speaks of submitting to something that you have heard. For this reason, I do not think he is using the word "salvation" in the sense of justification.

The burden of Hebrews is not the rescuing of sinners from eternal death but is rather the endurance of the saints through trials and suffering. The "salvation" spoken of here is explicitly contingent on obedience and, indeed, on an obedience modeled after that of Yeshua who also suffered. OK, let's move on.

          "In flaming fire, inflicting vengeance"—confusion exists whether this phrase goes with verse 7 or verse 8. If it goes with verse 7, it relates to the angels; but if it goes with verse 8, it relates to judgment. "In flaming fire" is a symbol of God's judgment. Paul now pictures Christ as that divine judge who will deliver his people from their persecutors.

Fire is often the symbol of punishment, but this is not always the case. Remember the burning Bush which Moses stopped to see. Or the pillar of fire that led the Israelites. These are a display of God's glory. But the repeated references in our passage to Isaiah 66 and the description of judgment in verse 8 direct the reader's attention to the fire of judgment. In this theophany, the Lord Yeshua will "inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua."          

"Inflicting vengeance"—"vengeance" is from the Greek word ekdikesis, which means "vengeance, punishment, vindication." It is a present active participle. This is not an emotional, vindictive reaction but is rather "full justice for all."  This is what the day of judgment will be like for those who persecuted the Thessalonians. In the Greek, the word rendered "vengeance" has no associations of vindictiveness. It is a compound based on the same root as the word rendered 'righteous' in verses 5 and 6, and it has the idea of the administration of justice.

Hogg and Vine describe ekdikesis as "'that which precedes out of justice;' not, as is often the case with human vengeance, out of a felling of indignation, or a sense of injury. There is thus no element of vindictiveness, of 'taking revenge,' or of self-gratification, in the judgments of God; they are both holy and right, Revelation 16:7."

The language of 1 Thessalonians 5:8 is taken from the combination of Isaiah 66:15 and 66:4 in the Greek version. Isaiah 66:15 is rendered "he will return vengeance in wrath" and Isaiah 66:4 is translated "Because I called them and they did not obey me." Both describe the wrath Yahweh visits on the disobedient.

This coming vengeance is what is called elsewhere in Scripture the Day of the Lord. It is the Great Tribulation; God's judgment on Jerusalem in AD 70.

Throughout the Scriptures, vengeance is promised to come on the disobedient Jewish people.

Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. Deuteronomy 28:47-48 ESV

Look what Yeshua taught in the Temple to the chief priests and the elders.

He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally, he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Mark 12:6-9 ESV

When is all of this to happen? When is the Lord going to "repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us"? Well, Paul said this would happen "when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven."

When was the Lord to come inflicting vengeance? Is this to happen at the end of time, the end of history, at the end of the world? Notice what Luke tells us in his Olivet Discourse account about what was to happen at the Parousia.

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Luke 21:20-22 ESV

The word "vengeance" here is the same Greek word as in our text, ekdikesis. And here we see that the destruction of Jerusalem is the vengeance that Paul told the Thessalonians was coming.

Luke tells us here that ALL things which are written will be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. What does he mean by that? "All that is written," refers to prophecy. All prophecy was to be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. Daniel tells us this very same thing.

"Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Daniel 9:24 ESV

Daniel was told that 70 weeks had been determined on his people Israel and on their city, Jerusalem. By the end of this prophetic time period, God promised that six things would be accomplished. One of the things that Daniel was told would happen by the end of that period was that God would "seal both vision and prophecy." The Hebrew commentaries are in agreement that the meaning to "seal both vision and prophecy" is "the end and complete fulfillment of all prophecy."

Daniel's prophecy, then, tells of the time when all prophecy would cease to be given, and what had been given would be fulfilled. When would this be? Daniel's vision ends with the destruction of Jerusalem, which we know occurred in A.D. 70.

So, Luke is saying the same thing that Daniel said—at the time of Jerusalem's destruction, all prophecy would be fulfilled. What does that include? It would involve the prophecy of the Second Coming, the Resurrection, and the Judgment. The big three all took place in AD 70 and were signaled by the destruction of Jerusalem. Everything prophesied to Israel would be fulfilled at the time of Jerusalem's destruction. All eschatology is Israel's eschatology.

So, we know when the Lord's revelation would happen. We know when the Lord was going to "repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us"? It happened in AD 70 while some of the Thessalonian believers were still alive. That seems clear to me, but it obviously is not to everybody.

In an article entitled, "Theological Jenga & Full Preterism," (Posted on Monday, March 13, 2023), Doug Wilson writes: "It should be pretty plain from the things I have written on eschatology that I am what is called a partial preterist, (a partial preterist is someone who believes in TWO Second comings, one in AD 70 and one yet in our future) and so I don't think I am giving away any secrets here. At the same time, I don't believe that I have ever written down my reasons for rejecting full preterism, at least not in one place."

Then he goes on to list his many reasons for rejecting full preterism. One of his reasons was what he called, "The Confession of Martha." He cites John 11:24.

Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."  John 11:24 ESV

Wilson writes, "In common with faithful Second Temple Jews, Martha believed in a general resurrection at the end of history. She calls it 'the resurrection.' And Jesus in no way contradicts this conviction of hers—rather He is about to give her a potent proleptic sign that the resurrection that was coming at the end of history was going to be grounded in Him." Then he adds, "The Pharisees taught a general resurrection at the end of time."

So, he says, "In common with faithful Second Temple Jews, Martha believed in a general resurrection at the end of history… The Pharisees taught a general resurrection at the end of time."

He just makes the statement, "faithful Second Temple Jews believed in a general resurrection at the end of history" with nothing to back it up. Were the Jews looking for a resurrection at the end of history? I'm not sure why they would be when the Tanakh seems to teach that there is no end of history. Let's look at some verses that seem to indicate that the world will not end.

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." Genesis 8:21-22 ESV

Now, folks will say that the Lord destroyed the earth by water one time and He'll destroy it by fire the next time. Is God's promise here to just change his method of destroying everything? Is there comfort in being destroyed by fire instead of water? Or is He promising not to destroy the earth again?

Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away. Psalms 148:4-6 ESV

What decree did God make concerning the establishment of the heaven and the earth that will never pass away? Could it be Genesis 8:21? God said that he would never again destroy every living thing. God can be trusted; He keeps his word.

He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever. Psalms 78:69 ESV

If God has established the earth forever, how could it end?

Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. Psalms 119:90 ESV
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Ecclesiastes 1:4 ESV

It sounds like these verses teach that the earth will last forever. Therefore, if the Tanakh doesn't teach the end of history, why would the Jews look for a resurrection at the end of history?

William Barclay, who cannot be accused of orthodoxy, is nevertheless a good historian. He writes that

Time was divided by the Jews into two great periods—this present age, and the age to come. The present age is wholly bad and beyond all hope of human reformation. If can be mended only by the direct intervention of God. When God does intervene the golden age, the age to come, will arrive. But in between the two ages there will come the Day of the Lord, which will be a time of terrible and fearful upheaval, like the birth-pangs of a new age.

Zechariah 14 teaches us that the "Day of the Lord" and the destruction of Jerusalem were connected. So, the destruction of Jerusalem, which was the Day of the Lord, marked the end of one age, the Jewish age, and the beginning of the new age, the Christian age of the New Covenant. Throughout the New Testament, we see two ages in contrast: "This age" and the "age to come."

And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:32 ESV

The word "come" at the end of the verse is the Greek word mello which means "about to be." We could translate this as the "age about to come" (in the first century). Many think that the age to come will be a sinless age. Not according to this verse. Sin against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in that age, referring to the age of the New Covenant, our present age.

The age that the biblical writers lived in was the "this age" and the age that followed it was the "age to come" and not the end of history.

Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." John 11:24 ESV

So, Wilson takes "last day" as the end of history, but Martha doesn't. Martha knows her eschatology. How did she know this? Yeshua taught it.

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:40 ESV

"The last day"—is a phrase that occurs only in this Gospel (6:39, 40, 44, 54; 7:37; 11:24; 12:48). So, what is Yeshua referring to when He speaks of "the last day"? What will He "raise up"? He is referring to the resurrection. And He tells us that this resurrection will happen on the last day.

Well, when is the last day? The traditional view that is held by most of the church is that the resurrection takes place at the end of time. Let me be clear that the Bible does not speak of "the end of time."  Nowhere in the Bible do we find the expression "the end of time." The Bible speaks of "the end time" or the "time of the end" which refer to the end of an age. The end of an age is not the end of time.

As I said earlier, the Jews divided time into two great periods: the Mosaic Age and the Messianic Age. During the Second Temple period, they distinguished between two types of olam: olam hazeh (this world) and olam haba ("the world to come"). The "olam hazeh" or "this world" is characterized by darkness, wickedness, sin, and death. It is called "night." The "Olam Haba" or "the world to come," as it was called by the rabbis, was known as a time of joy, peace, light, eternity; it is known as "day." The rabbis connected the olam haba with the resurrection.

According to the Bible, when was the resurrection to take place? The Scriptures testify that the time of the resurrection was to be at the last day of the Old Covenant age. We know this to have happened in A.D. 70 with the destruction of the Jewish Temple. The disciples knew that the fall of the Temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant age and the inauguration of a New Age:

"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2 ESV

When was Daniel told that this resurrection would happen?

And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. Daniel 12:7 ESV

Daniel was told, "when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end (which was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70) all these things (including the resurrection) would be finished."

So, the resurrection was to happen at the end of the Jewish Age, the Old Covenant Age. We know that this happened in AD 70 with the destruction of the Jewish Temple. And at this time the Second Coming and the Judgment also took place.

The Thessalonians were suffering for their faith, but the Lord promised them relief and their persecutors wrath in the not-too-distant future. God's wrath on Israel would give them rest.

Please remember this: Israel had crucified the Lord and publicly called God's judgment down on themselves:

And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" Matthew 27:25 ESV

God's judgment on Israel in AD 70 matched their crime—the crucifixion of Christ. This crime was the worst in history, so their punishment was also the worst in history. To call anything else "the great tribulation" is to downplay the immensity of that generation's guilt.

Joseph Ernest Renan said, "From this time forth, hunger, rage, despair, and madness dwelt in Jerusalem. It was a cage of furious maniacs, a city resounding with howling and inhabited by cannibals, a very hell. Titus, for his part, was atrociously vindictive; every day five hundred unfortunates were crucified in the sight of the city with hateful refinements of cruelty or sufficient ground whereon to erect them."

We need to realize the scope of the great tribulation upon the people of Israel. It was not just those in Jerusalem that suffered and died, but also those all over Palestine. The whole country felt the judgment of God. Josephus said, "There was not a Syrian city which did not slay their Jewish inhabitants, and were more bitter enemies to us than were the Romans themselves."

David Clark said, "It is doubtful if anything before or since has equaled it for ruthless slaughter and merciless destruction. From the locality of these churches in Asia Minor to the borders of Egypt the land was a slaughterhouse, City after city was wrecked, sacked, and burned; till it was recorded that cities were left without an inhabitant."

The destruction of Jerusalem was far more than just the destruction of a city. Jerusalem and the temple were the center of worship of Yahweh, the God of gods and Lord of Lords. With its destruction came a covenantal change. God's kingdom was taken from them, and no longer would Gentiles rule over God's kingdom because His Kingdom was now a spiritual kingdom, entered not by a physical birth but by a spiritual birth. The old heavens and earth of Judaism were destroyed, and the new heavens and earth of Spiritual Israel were established. It signaled the end of the age. God had utterly destroyed the physical temple, the genealogical records which qualified descendants of Aaron to serve as priests, and the city of Jerusalem. The old system of worship was forever over. And the New Covenant age fully consummated.

Continue the Series

Berean Bible Church provides this material free of charge for the edification of the Body of Christ. You can help further this work by your prayer and by contributing online or by mailing to:

Berean Bible Church
1000 Chattanooga Street
Chesapeake, VA 23322