Short Shot: The End of the Law, the Time of Reformation
The time of the end of the Law of Moses is hotly debated these days. I was personally raised believing that the Law of Moses was “nailed to the cross” and appealed to Colossians 2:14f as proof of that. I came to realize, however, that Colossians does not teach that Torah was nailed to the Cross! For more on Colossians see my book, The End of the Law of Moses: Torah to Telos, Vol. I.
This brief “Short Shot” is for the purpose of showing that the Law of Moses could not have passed at the cross. (Keep in mind the name of the article– “Short Shot” – indicating that I am presenting only the basics of what could be a much larger discussion).
Read Hebrews 9:8-10 to set the stage for our investigation:
the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
The focus of this article is to focus on only a few key elements:
1. The author’s statement that the Law, with its attendant cultic praxis of mandates about food, “baptisms” (baptismois, βαπτισμοίς, Strong’s #909), and “fleshly ordinances” was symbolic (literally, parabolic, παραβολὴ, parabole, Strong’s #3850). The Old Covenant Temple and cultus was a shadow. This is Colossians 2:14f where Paul said that the cultic festal observances of the New Moons, feast days and Sabbaths, were still, when he wrote, (present active indicative in the Greek) a shadow of the good things that were “about to come.” So, the typological, shadow, parabolic nature of the entire Old Covenant cultic system is set before us.
2. That entire cultic, festal system, would remain standing (stasin, στάσιν, Strong’s #4714–having standing) “until the time of reformation.” The word “standing” does not refer to the physical standing of the Temple edifice. It refers to the legal validity of the temple system. So, the Law of Moses, every bit of it, would continue to have “standing” until the time of reformation.
3. The cultic praxis would be imposed (ἐπικείμενα, epikimemena, Strong’s #1945) “until the time of reformation.” The word “imposed” means precisely what it indicates. It means the law would remain valid and binding until the appointed time, the time of reformation.
4. There would be no entrance into the Most Holy Place – The Presence of God – “until the time of reformation” – which is the time of the end of the Law of Moses. As long as the Law had standing and was imposed, there could be no entrance into the MHP.
5. There would be no entrance into the Most Holy Place “until the time of reformation” (διορθώσεως, diorthoseos, Strong’s #1357). So, since there could be no entrance into the MHP until the end of the Law of Moses at the time of reformation, it is necessary to define and identify that “time of reformation.”
The word diorthosis was an important word in Bible prophecy to speak of the Messianic restoration of the Kingdom. Among many texts that could be cited, take note of Isaiah 62:1-7:
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes (diorthosis, LXX) Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
Briefly, take note of the promises found here:
☛ The coming vindication of Zion / Jerusalem. This is the restoration of Israel, the diorthosis.
☛ The calling of the nations to the glory of the God of Israel
☛ The giving of a New Name to the people of God.
☛ The remarriage of Israel. The background of this promise is the reality that the Lord had “divorced” the ten northern tribes (Hosea 2:1-2- Hosea was roughly contemporary with Isaiah) due to her spiritual adultery. Yet, the Lord promised to remarry Israel in the last days (Hosea 2:21f / 3:4-6).
That restoration of Israel is labeled as the diorthosis in verse 7 (LXX). Furthermore, that restoration is the time of the remarriage of Israel. That time of the reformation, the time of the restoration of Israel, as described by Hosea, would be:
✦ The time of the New Covenant (Hosea 2:18).
✦ The time of the Messianic Temple (Hosea 3:4f)
✦ The time of the coming of the Lord (Hosea 5:15-6:1-6).
✦ The time of the resurrection (Hosea 6:1-6)!
So, the time of reformation:
✪ Is the time of the New Covenant. Which means, does it not, that the time of reformation would be the end of the Old Covenant, precisely as Hebrews 9 says?
✪ The time of the Coming of the Lord (Isaiah 62:10f). Jesus quoted Isaiah 62:10f in Matthew 16:27 and said it would be in the lifetime of the first century generation.
✪ The time of the kingdom, since it is the restoration of Israel. (Of course, the Old Covenant form of the kingdom would be destroyed (Hosea 1:3-5).
To keep this short, look closely:
The time of the reformation is the end of the Law of Moses– Hebrews 9.
The time of reformation is the time of the Wedding, the Messianic Restoration and Resurrection (Isaiah / Hosea).
The time of the Wedding would be at the destruction of Jerusalem.
Therefore, the end of the Law of Moses was at the destruction of Jerusalem.
The conclusion is proven by Matthew 22:1-7:
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Can there be any serious doubt about the context for the Wedding? It was when those who had been invited– Israel, invited to her “remarriage”– spurned the invitation and persecuted those sent to invite here. As a result, they were destroyed by the Lord of the Wedding Banquet. (See my extended discussion of this parable in my book: We Shall Meet Him In the Air, the Wedding of the King of kings).
Similarly, in Revelation, at the destruction of the Great City, called Babylon, the Great Harlot, the city “where the Lord was crucified”, the song of victory rang out:
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
What would come (occur) at the destruction of the Great Persecuting City?
The coming of Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Salvation – v. 1-2, i.e. the kingdom. This is the fulfillment of Luke 21:28-31- at the destruction of Jerusalem, “your redemption draws nigh”- “the kingdom has drawn near.”
Vindication of the martyrs (In fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32:43– which is about Israel’s last days).
The Wedding of the Lamb!
Here is Isaiah 62 fulfilled! Here is Hosea 2:18-23 fulfilled! Here is Matthew 22 fulfilled. (And, here is Matthew 25:1-13 fulfilled!) But, that means that this is the time of reformation, since the time of reformation is – according to Isaiah 62:7 and Hosea– is the time of the Wedding, the restoration of Israel under Messiah! It also means that the time of reformation is the time of the resurrection as Hosea 6 shows.
So, to reiterate, the time of reformation is the time of:
The end of the Old Covenant.
The time of the New Covenant– the New Marriage Covenant (Hosea 2:18f)!
The coming of the Lord (Hosea 5:15f).
The resurrection (Hosea 6:1-6).
The Wedding of Christ- the Lamb of God (Isaiah 62:3-7; Hosea 2:21f).
So, ask yourself the question: Has the time of reformation come? We are told that the time of reformation came at the Cross. That is untenable, as we have seen. The time of reformation is the time of the coming of the Lord, the resurrection, salvation– the Wedding! Clearly, the cross was not the time of reformation.
Put another way:
Has the Wedding of Christ taken place? Yes or No?
If not, then of necessity, the church is merely “betrothed” to Christ and will not be married until some future time. Has the church been betrothed for 2000 years?
Remember, the time of the Wedding is the time of the coming of the Lord– Isaiah 62 / Hosea 6 / Revelation 19; (see Ephesians 5:23-26, which speaks of Christ presenting the church to himself, i.e. the Wedding).
The time of the Wedding is the time of salvation.
The time of the Wedding is the time of the judgment of Babylon– the Harlot city guilty of killing the Lord, the OT prophets, and the apostles and prophets of Jesus! Only one city fits that description– Old Covenant Jerusalem
Thus, if you say the Wedding has come, you affirm the past fulfillment of Christ’s coming, the resurrection and salvation.
If you deny that the coming of the Lord, the resurrection and salvation has come (at the judgment of Babylon), then you deny that the Wedding has taken place.
So, since the time of reformation is the time of the coming of the Lord, the judgment, the resurrection, salvation, the kingdom, the New Covenant- and the end of the Old Covenant, then if you affirm that the time of reformation has come, no matter where you posit it:
Christ has come.
The resurrection has come.
Salvation has come.
If you say that Christ has not come- returned (not his ascension) – the New Covenant has not come.
This means the Old Covenant remains in effect.
This means that the Old Covenant people– Old Covenant Israel– remains God’s people.
Salvation has not come.
The Wedding has not taken place.
The time of reformation was to be the time of the fulfillment of all of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel– (the fulfillment of all of her prophecies, her types and shadows, of Colossians 2 and Hebrews 9) and that included the end of the law, the passing away of the Old Covenant to bring in the New Covenant. The Old Covenant would remain “imposed” until that anticipated time of fulfillment, and that time of reformation was at the destruction of Old :Cov