An Important Question – A Great Answer!
On Facebook 10-29-2020, just the other day, I posted the following question. A wonderful lady from Australia,a college professor, responded. Here is my question followed by her excellent answer:
‘When Jesus said- Luke 21:22– describing the impending judgment on Jerusalem: “These be the days of vengeance when all things written must be fulfilled”– How inclusive is the statement “all things written”? What specifically did “all things written” refer to …? ‘
Julienne Chambers— My answer:
All things written referred to everything in the Law and the Prophets that pertained to Israel under the Covenant of Moses … everything prophecy and promise God made to Israel in the OT would be fulfilled when the days of vengeance came to pass. These days were in context the great tribulation .. the time of judgment foretold by the Prophets and foreshadowed in the Law. This was the time of great distress prophesied in Dan 9 and Dan 12. 70 Weeks were determined for the holy people and their city. The days of vengeance were inextricably linked to the death of Jesus in the middle of the 70th Week. The Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven in the revelation of His glory, power and sovereign authority when Apostate Israel was judged in the great tribulation – the Jewish War. This was the final judgment of OC Israel as the Covenant of Moses, the Covenant of Law, disappeared when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Its dissolution ended the period of history that began when the Covenant between God and Israel was ratified at Mt. Sinai. The final judgment of Israel under the Covenant of Moses culminated in the destruction of the city and temple in 70 AD when the prophecy of 70 Weeks reached its terminus. “70 Weeks are determined for the holy people and their city.”
When Jesus said in Luke 21 “..these be the days of vengeance when all things written must be fulfilled” He meant the days of vengeance would bring the history of OC Israel to its end. Every promise and prophecy would be fulfilled by the time Jerusalem fell. He said the same thing in Matt 5. He did not come to destroy or annul the Law and the Prophets. He came to fulfil them. And none of the Law would disappear until EVERYTHING was fulfilled .. everything that pertained to Israel in the Law and the Prophets. Not the smallest commandment of the Law would disappear .. not a jot or a tittle .. until everything was fulfilled .. until the vindication of the martyrs was accomplished in the days of vengeance.
Jesus confirmed this in Matt 23 when He said to the scribes and pharisees:
““You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so UPON YOU will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, ALL OF THIS WILL COME ON THIS GENERATION.”
The martyrs were vindicated in the great tribulation before the generation passed. But they were dead. Their vindication was a Covenant judgment. But it was more than that. The martyrs were killed for their testimony about Jesus and for the Word of God. When the Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven the true sons of the Father were vindicated .. and in particular .. the martyrs. Their vindication was resurrection to life immortal. This was the hope that inspired the mother and her 7 sons when they were brutally killed by Antiochus Epiphanes. This was the real and present hope that inspired the Christians brutally murdered by Nero.
The vindication of the martyrs took place 40 years after Jesus came at the start of the 70th Week. And NONE of the Law disappeared, not a single commandment, not a jot or a tittle, until then. Therefore everything was fulfilled by the time Jerusalem fell.
Jesus elaborated on the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets in Matt 5 in His Olivet Discourse in Matt 24, Luke 21 & Mark 13. “All things written” would be fulfilled when all the things He foretold in His discourse came to pass. We don’t have to guess what Jesus meant by ‘everything’ in Matt 5 because He explained it in detail in Matt 24. In fact the Olivet Discourse filled in the parenthesis in the prophecy of 70 Weeks.
There were 69 consecutive Weeks/483 years from the decree of Artaxerex (457 BC) to the anointing of the Messiah at His baptism. He was killed 69.5 Weeks from the decree. The prophecy shifts focus from the middle of the 70th Week to the great tribulation. There is no hint of the passage of 40 years from the baptism of Jesus to the start of the war or 40 years from His death to the destruction of the city and temple.
But Jesus knew. And when the disciples asked Him when the temple would be destroyed and what would be the signs of His coming and the end of the age His answer was comprehensive.
The end would not arrive straight away. Jesus explained all the things that would happen before the war began but He made it very clear that the generation would not pass before the Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven in the great tribulation. The destruction of the city and temple was the last marker in the prophecy of 70 Weeks. When that was accomplished the terminus of the prophecy would be reached.
The Covenant of Moses was about to disappear in 66 AD (Heb 8:13). When the temple was destroyed the prophecy of 70 Weeks reached its terminus and the Covenant disappeared, forever. Not the smallest commandment of the Law disappeared until the temple disappeared. The ruin of the temple was the sign that everything that pertained to OC Israel in the Law and the Prophets was fulfilled and the pre-Messianic age had ended. This also proved the fulfillment of the 70th Week was past and Jesus was the Messiah. And if He was the Messiah He was also the exalted Son of Man in Dan 7.
In the days of vengeance all the things that were written in the OT that pertained to Israel under the Covenant of Moses were fulfilled. It was impossible for the Covenant to disappear until everything in the Law and the Prophets came to pass. This included the gathering of the 12 tribes of Israel into the Israel of God through the preaching of the gospel in the last days. Matt 5 and Matt 24 should be read side by side. EVERYTHING in Matt 5 = ALL THESE THINGS in Matt 24. So we don’t have to second guess what Jesus meant.
To those interested in looking deeper into Jesus’ teaching in the Olivet Discourse, be sure to check out my YouTube video series– currently standing at well over 330 videos!!– on The Olivet Discouse.