Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 29, 2001
Last Updated :
July 19, 2012
70 AD: Judaism Is Altered Forever With Temple Destruction, Day Of Pentecost: God Broadcasts To The Entire Roman World, Christian Witnessing Explosion Vs Judaism's Total Implosion, Assyrian Babylonian And Roman Diasporas, Jesus Is Testator And Mediator Of The New Covenant, Jesus Founded A New Church Comprised Of New Bottles Who Can Accept New Spiritual Truths, God Burned The Bridges Leading Back To Legalistic Judaism, Pharisaical Legalism Was A Hinderance To God's Plans For His New Church, False Brethren Within The Church, Confrontation: We Ought To Obey God Rather Than Men, Jesus And The Apostles Were Intent On Preparing The Disciples For The 70 AD Events, American Christendom's Fascination With All Things Jewish, Attributes Of God's True Church, Perfectly Joined Together And All One In Christ, Closing Remarks, Additional Resources
It is clear that this one Divine Act of Retribution in 70 AD altered the Jewish religion forever; because Mount Moriah had represented the very spiritual life and center for all Jews throughout Israel, North Africa and the Mediterranean region. As you may know, Jews from all around this great region made their annual pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, and now it was gone. In one powerful Act of Divine Indignation, God knocked their spiritual feet right out from under them. The profound influence that this Act of God had on the Jews can be partially gauged, simply by noting the wide range of Jews who were in attendance on the Day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts. Consider the following verses:
"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?"
Acts 2:5-12, KJV
As I explain in the article "Are the Gifts of the Spirit for Today?", if we translate all of the aforementioned names to their modern counterparts, we discover that God performed this miracle in order to broadcast the message of Salvation to people who were native to a region which extended from Italy, to Greece, to Turkey, to Syria, to Iraq, to Iran, all the way over to the nations of North Africa and the islands of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a huge witnessing campaign. It was a worldwide telecast of God's Spirit. While the day of Pentecost represented a powerful witnessing explosion for the young Christian Church, in stark contrast, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple complex in 70 AD marked the total implosion of the Jewish faith. To the degree that the Day of Pentecost event had a positive effect on the Jews that day, 70 AD no doubt marked a devastating negative effect of equal proportions for the reprobate Jews, and probably greater.
The reason why I say this, is because the fiery destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple compound did not just equate to a spiritual implosion; it equated to a physical implosion as well. As you may recall from our earlier discussion, Jesus had forewarned His followers of the coming calamities with the words "they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations". Thus, just as had occurred with the Assyrian invasions over eight hundred years earlier; and just as had likewise occurred during the Babylonian invasions of the Sixth Century BC; the Jews were once again forcefully removed from their homeland, and were dispersed throughout the regions that were controlled by the Roman Empire. In a technical sense, this was really a Third Diaspora. So God did not spare the rod this time. He broke the reprobate Jews spiritually, as well as physically.
At this point of our discussion, allow me to ask you a very important question. I will not be providing an answer to it. Please endeavor to answer it for yourself, based on all of the information which I have provided in this series. What we learn from the Scriptures, as well as from the historical record, is that over the past three thousand years or so, the Jewish nation has built two -- or three, depending on your perspective -- Temples on the summit of Mount Moriah. These have been Solomon's Temple, Zerubbabel's Temple, and Herod the Great's Temple.
We know from the Scriptures that as a result of disobedience and rebellion against the Lord on the part of the Jews, the first Temple was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar's forces in 587 BC, and the Jews were scattered abroad. The second -- or third -- Temple was destroyed by General Titus and his legions for very similar reasons more than six hundred and fifty years later in 70 AD. Again the Jews were dispersed to the lands outside of Israel. Considering then that the vast majority of the Jews who reside in Israel today continue to rebel against the Lord through their rejection of Jesus Christ, what do you honestly believe will happen if the Jews ever do build another Temple on the summit of Mount Moriah?
If your answer is the same as mine, do you think that this may be the reason why the Israeli government has prevented radical Orthodox Jewish groups such as Temple Mount Faithful from attempting to rebuild the Temple on Mount Moriah. Is it possible that some officials within the Israeli government actually fear what might happen to Israel if another Temple is allowed to be constructed again?
Allow me to share with you another reason why I believe that God dealt such a decisive blow to the Jewish religionists in 70 AD. As I more amply explain in some of my other articles, Judaism had become a cold, spiritless, oppressive religion of self-righteous works. Thus, the Lord determined that it was time to take it out of the way and begin anew. That is exactly what Jesus did as the Testator of the New Covenant. The New Testament, New Covenant or New Agreement between God and man, was signed with the Blood of Jesus Christ. In fact, it came into force through the Blood of Jesus Christ, and without Jesus' Death, it would not have even been possible. This is made plain in the Scriptures by verses such as the following:
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Matthew 26:28, KJV
"And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."
Mark 14:24, KJV
"Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
Luke 22:20, KJV
"After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."
1 Corinthians 11:25, KJV
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
2 Corinthians 3:6, KJV
"But now hath he [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
Hebrews 8:6-13, KJV
"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
Hebrews 9:13-17, KJV
"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
Hebrews 12:24, KJV
Through His own Sacrifice on the Cross, not only did He open the door to Salvation for all men by effectuating a New Deal between God and man, but Jesus likewise founded a New Church which is populated with "New Bottles" who are able to receive the New Truths of the Spirit, as we see here:
"Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."
Matthew 9:17, KJV
These New Bottles who comprise the New Church worship God in Spirit and in Truth. As a result of the events that occurred in 70 AD, they no longer depended upon a physical structure with its rigid system, such as the Temple in Jerusalem. They were totally freed from the vain traditions of men. If we consider the fact that the First Century Church was composed primarily of converted Jews, who joined the Christian faith by the thousands in the Book of Acts, then it is plausible that one of God's intentions in allowing the Temple compound to be destroyed, was to literally burn their bridges behind them, so that the Disciples of the New Church couldn't return to the old, legalistic, corrupt religious system of Judaism, even if they had desired to do so.
There is no doubt that the religion of the Scribes and the Pharisees was a hindrance and an obstacle to what God wanted to do during the First Century. Therefore, as I have already pointed out, God had to take it out of the way by means of the Roman invasion. Concerning the actions of General Titus and the Roman legions, the Prophet Daniel writes as follows:
". . . and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood [that is, an army], and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."
Daniel 9:26b, KJV
It becomes apparent from reading the Book of Acts as well as various of the Epistles, that the legalistic Jews who were of the circumcision were a constant thorn in the flesh for the Apostles. Not only did they pose a challenge to the Church from without, but they also infiltrated the ranks of the Disciples and continuously schemed to cause division from within. Allow me to share one small example with you. Earlier we discussed how the Lord revealed to the Apostle Peter that the time had arrived to start bringing Gentiles into the fold. Upon hearing this news, consider how those Jews which were of the circumcision reacted to this news:
"And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them."
Acts 11:2-3, KJV
Instead of rejoicing upon hearing the news that the Roman centurion Cornelius had accepted the Lord, along with his family, at first, some of the legalistic Jews initially set themselves to arguing with Peter, found fault with him, and criticized him for eating with uncircumcised Gentiles.
Being as they came from a background of legalistic do's and don'ts, some of the Jewish Christian brethren had one foot caught in the legalism of Judaism, while the other enjoyed the spiritual freedom that is offered by Jesus Christ. At the same time, as I mentioned earlier, there were also certain Jews who intentionally feigned to be brethren for the sole purpose of trying to stir up trouble within the ranks of the Disciples. This legalistic attitude continually cropped up within the First Century Church, and it was a relentless battle for the Apostles to keep it in check. Their concerns are expressed in verses such as the following:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Romans 16:17, KJV
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15, KJV
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Galatians 1:6-9, KJV
"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"
Galatians 2:4, KJV
"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision."
Philippians 3:2, KJV
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
1 Timothy 4:1-2, KJV
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
1 Timothy 6:3-5, KJV
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
2 Timothy 4:3, KJV
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
Titus 3:9-11, KJV
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
2 Peter 2:1-2, KJV
"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
1 John 2:18-19, KJV
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
2 John 1:9-11, KJV
It seems then that it was inevitable that these two opposing religious ideologies -- the legalism of the flesh versus the freedom of the Spirit -- would ultimately engage in a head-on confrontation. As we know, this confrontation began between Jesus and the Scribes and the Pharisees, and continued with the Apostles and the Disciples afterwards. As the Apostles so notably stated in Acts chapter five as they stood their ground against the Jewish religious Elders:
". . . We ought to obey God rather than men."
Acts 5:29b, KJV
While God may have used these tense situations in order to strengthen the faith and conviction of the Apostles and the Disciples, as we have already seen, eventually, He determined that the time had arrived to bring the old religious system crashing down. Thus, the Old Testament prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple were fulfilled in 70 AD, as General Titus -- "the prince that shall come" -- and his legions laid siege to the city. The rest you already know.
In reading the New Testament, it becomes evident that both Jesus and the Apostles were intent on preparing the Disciples for the eventual destruction of the Temple compound, as well as the legalistic religion of the Jews. The manner in which they did this was by repeatedly emphasizing the fact that our bodies represent the true temples of God's Spirit, as we saw earlier in this series. Jesus set the foundation during His time on Earth, and for the next several decades, the Apostles continued doing the same. Even though the destruction of the Temple compound was still some years in the future, through continually emphasizing the spiritual nature of God's True Church, they must have slowly weaned the Disciples from their dependence upon the Temple compound and its corrupt form of worship.
Having said that, in my view, there is a certain irony in how Christianity is being practiced in our modern day; at least with what appears to be a significant number of Christians in the United States of America. While I have not lived there in three decades now, through reading the news, participating on Facebook, surfing the web, and engaging in conversations with my online friends, it is very apparent that there is a huge fascination with all things Jewish. Stated another way, while with the passage of time the Early Church naturally distanced itself more and more from its Jewish roots as an increasing number of Gentiles were welcomed into the Christian fold, it seems that American Christendom today is doing the exact opposite. Whether or not this is a healthy situation I will leave for you to determine. For me personally, it is of some concern, because I am not sure where it will eventually lead.
Thanks to the wise foresight of the Apostles of the First Century, today we have a Church -- I am speaking of the True Church -- which is not dependent upon physical structures, or even on a priesthood for that matter. This Church is not limited by or constricted by denominational ties, particular doctrines, or anything else. It is united by a core belief which declares that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the only Mediator between God and man. This Church is guided only by God's Word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is in fact a loosely-knit Body of Believers -- as was the Early Church -- that is now global in scope. This True Church remains unhampered by the physical boundaries which are drawn by mortal men. It is my belief that this is the Church which Jesus envisioned when He spoke to the woman of Samaria in John chapter four.
World empires and nations may be born and then crumble; and kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and dictators may rise and fall; but God's glorious True Church of the Spirit marches on, unbound by the limitations of man's ideologies and trivial worldly pursuits. We are the True Church, and it is us, and we will always be here, until God says otherwise. As the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
1 Corinthians 1:10, KJV
"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Galatians 3:28, KJV
With these inspiring verses regarding the unity of the Spirit, I will bring this series to its conclusion. It is my hope that you have found it informative, and that you have been blessed by it as well. If you have been inspired by it, I ask you to please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link which is found on this page. Thank you so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of resources below which were either mentioned in this series, or which contain topics which are related to this series. All of these articles are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
Accusations of Antisemitism: My Personal Response
Are the Gifts of the Spirit for Today?
Endless Genealogies and Endtime Deception
Hell, the Lake of Fire and Universalism
Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word
Is God a Racist?
Oh Israel, Why Will Ye Die?
Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Trinity
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Great Tribulation and the Rapture
The Kings of the North and the South
The Seven Heads
The Two Sackcloth Witnesses of Revelation 11
Who Hindered the Antichrist?
Who Is Who? : Defining Important Prophecy Terms