Each culture has defining features that are unique to it. It is made up of specific components like land defined by borders, a language, with leaders and a legal system to implement the laws that are specific to it. They generally have memorial celebrations to pass on to subsequent generations the things that make them unique. They define, renew and insure their identity. Change these and that people will cease to exist.
An important feature of many nations is a foundational document called a constitution. Constitution is a big word for ingredients. It defines what the citezines are made up of. These people are called constituents. They contain the ingredients in themselves as defined by their constitution that make them unique. Take away these ingredients and you change the people. You have a new constituency and a different people. People who are made up of different laws and values.
This is what Christ did. He came preaching “The Kingdom of God is at hand “. He was the revolutionary creating a new constituency of a new constitution called The New Covenant. The book of Hebrews says “this was first spoken by the Lord and confirmed by those who heard it.” He spoke first something different from the old covenant a new message to a new people. Such are we who are this new constituency being ingredients of The New Covenant founded on better promises than the old covenant. (Hebrews 8.6)
And the proof that it is something new and distinguishable different? Christ said “All the law and the prophets were till John. Now the Kingdom is preached and all are entering”. With these words He drew the proverbial line in the sand between His Kingdom and the kingdom of Israel and Jerusalem on earth. He was the demarcation line between the old Jewish kingdom and the new Covenant Kingdom of God in Christ that “cometh not with observation”. (Luke 27.22)
The phrase “The Kingdom of God is at hand” started then and was never retracted. A covenant is not in force till the death of the testator. Christ went to the cross for this cause. With His death the New Covenant is in force and the heirs receive their inheritance and need not wait for another saving.
The New Covenant is emphatically in force. (Hebrews 9+). The old reached its culmination to bring us to the New. Christ is the sole mediator for this New creation and needs no help from the prophets of the old whom He replaced. (Hebrews 1.1)
Peter said of the prophets “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, meaning not to the prophets, but to us[b] they were ministering the things”. Here distinguishing the two covenants.
“All (of the old) law and the prophets were till John”? Christ introduces a new constitution for a new constituency of those born with ingredients of the Word and of the Spirit. “He came to His own and His own did not accept Him, but to as many as receive Him, to them He gave power to become His Children, even to those who believe in His name. And also “of those born among women there is none greater than John the baptist. But he who is least in the New Covenant Kingdom is greater than he.” Who? Greater than John the Baptist or any other prophet for John was the greatest of them.
The “New Covenant” people, are different from the old. A new people with a new make up, distinguishably different from the old. The old was written on tablets of stone and the New on tablets of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3.3)
We are not of the circumcision of the flesh but the heart. The differences have no parallels. The old depicts the New only with contrasts. The law of sin and death in contrast to “The Spirit of life that is in Christ”. The operative here is “in Christ” not in Jerusalem on earth. These too are contrasts. This is “rightly dividing the word of truth”. And “if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. The culture of the law only mirrors the truth in contrasts. Opposites. “The law having shadows of these things but not the essence” (Hebrews 10.1)
Scripture says that Christ is the new mediator of a new covenant founded on better promises” than the old. In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8.13). That happened with the destruction of Jerusalem which was overturned by Titus.
The old was made up of artifacts of a bygone age founded on temporary fixes and band-aids designed to “make sin exceedingly sinful”. To make us good and dead till Christ.
At the proclamation that “The Kingdom of God is at hand” the deterioration of the old commenced. And if the changes to the Jerusalem of old were to be minor, He would have just had painted the buildings and maybe replaced the roof, but because the changes were so drastic and diametrically opposite, everything had to be redone. “Till not one stone shall be left upon another” was the Jerusalem’s demise (Mt 24.1). When Christ was on the cross, the physical temple was cracked so violently from the top to the bottom that the earth quaked and the bedrock shifted. (Mt 27.52) Yes clear through the foundation showing it unsafe for use of any sort. That is why scripture says “old things have passed away, all things have become new.” It is irreversible.
This expiration of that kingdom was so completely fulfilled, expired and put out of business so much so in fact that all debts were paid and the books were balanced and closed. And because that kingdom and all the Jews so emphatically rejected the New King of a New Kingdom, the New Law and the New Law giver and the New Mediator of The New Covenant, but of them? “There were none righteous, no not one” Romans 3.10. So on them was laid all the guilt for all the wrong doing, murders and deaths of all the prophets from Able till then. Why? Because there was not one prophet they listened to. Even as the people said “He is not my king, crucify Him”. And so they did. And so for this they were judged, condemned and annihilated. In this way they rejected the chief cornerstone. They were not recipients of the gift of God but His wrath. The books were settled, the wages of sin were paid. God owes them nothing He hasn’t already given them. God was patient, that none would perish but there was none righteous, their time of visitation had come. The Jews and Jerusalem are no more. They are fulfilled. Meaning, expired, shelved and put away saying. Now it is said “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3. Jews have no preferential treatment.
She was found in total contempt as seen here.“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; Meaning condemned, kaput, closed for business, out of commission.
The buildings and the streets were so turned over and so unrecognizable that there was no distinguishing features left. The people were ravaged, killed and trapped in that city because they rejected The King. Josephus and other historians from that era speak of the hellish horror they experienced while they ate each others flesh and gnashed their teeth in pain while Jerusalem was surrounded by armies. They knew not their time. “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, do not go back in your house to retrieve a coat”. The Jews are gone,. That kingdom was demolished. It was condemned, put out of business and replaced.
You see the law was added only till faith comes and in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son born of a women to redeem those from the law. There is therefore no need for that law and the culture associated with it. It served its purpose of “making sin exceedingly sinful”. To go back to that is like jumping back into the pan on the fire for it will reap the same reward of rejecting the Savior. But many do just that as they look to another coming Jesus and another fulfillment of a Jerusalem and view scripture the same way as the Jews of old were condemned for. But “we have come to know and believe that Christ came to expire and replace the Old Covenant with the New covenant and New Kingdom of God in Christ. We the elect have received it. The rest were hardened. They like the old wine better for “no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” The Old verse the New. You choose.
When you take away the law and the prophets, we see that whole culture unraveled and replaced. But for those of us who know? it was “sown corruptible raised incorruptible, It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body”. (1 Cor 15. 44+). “In Spirit and truth”.
All the components of that culture were mutually dependent upon each other. You take away the law and the rest falls apart like liquefying bones and the body ,falls to the ground. You see that was the culture held spellbound to sin and death. With all the laws, feasts and sacrifices they were held in guilt and condemnation. That is why there is no condemnation to those who walk not by that law but by the spirit of the New Covenant. What the law couldn’t do, God did by sending His Son in the likeness of man, He condemned sin in the flesh with its culture and artifacts. Romans 8. This is the good news. The old was the gospel of death. With the cross death was paved over. That is why believers are “baptized into His death to walk in newness of life”. This is the gospel. The good news. Unless you are baptized in vain.
When Christ was speaking a parable of Jerusalem at the fig tree, upon seeing no fruit He said “let no fruit grow on you no more forever”, showing the eternal finality of the Jews judgment. He could not have said that if it was not true. They were condemned fulfilled, expired and tore down “till not one stone was left upon another. Woe to those who rebuild that abomination (that makes desolate), and they do “whose coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
It is to take all the law and the prophets and that whole culture that Christ expired, being fulfilled, filled to the full. To reject the New King in His New Covenant Kingdom, then revert to the old and rebuild that is the epitome of rejecting Christ, despising His blood by rebuilding the things He replaced. They reject the New wine saying the old is better.
With lying signs and wonders, the implementation of fulfilled scripture for another coming kingdom. Christ rejected such a notion saying of His Kingdom that “it cometh not with carnal observation”. And those who say that it does? Christ said “do not follow them!”. (Luke 17.22). But so these persist and will receive the same condemnation. Woe! See that you do not refuse Him who speaks from heaven! The very thing the Jews rejected, so these do too today and they will receive the same judgment.
The purpose to replace the old was so important that Christ gave His life for that cause. Woe to those who despise His blood in hopes of rebuilding the old kingdom and implement the old sacrifices and those who help them. But for those who accept the New? We bear not our own judgment like they did but “On Him was laid the iniquity of us all and by His stripes we are healed”. For those who deny Him receive their own death and condemnation, but for us He diffuses ours.
When Christ said “The Kingdom is preached and all are entering”, He was not referring to entering that Jerusalem for they were already there, but the land of faith. He said “The time that is coming is now when you no longer worship in Jerusalem (on earth) but in Spirit and truth” hereby defining the New boundaries of His Kingdom of “where ever two or more are gathered in His name, there He is in their midst” fulfilling “the Kingdom of God is within you”.
In His name, meaning “in Christ” are the limitless, eternal boundaries. We who are constituted of spirit and Truth are this constituency made up of New constitution called The New Covenant. And because of this we can say that “now we are fellow citizens members and Saints of the household of God laid upon the foundation of the apostles (not concrete) with Christ our cornerstone” and “we are living stones built together a habitation of God in the Spirit”. Once again defining our boundaries of endless opportunities.
But many are still looking for the physical kingdom “that cometh not with observation” and allege themselves with the wicked servant who said “my master delays His coming” of which He does not. He stands at your door and knocks even now.
Of those who seek another? They constitute the apostates of our day of a “not yet kingdom for a not yet king at some incalculable point in the future when another savior will come. This kingdom is not “at hand” but out of reach. You can’t have it. They join their predecessors of whom it is said “you are not entering the Kingdom nor are you allowing those who are trying to do so “. They preach another gospel then “The Kingdom of God is at hand”
Christ is the same yesterday today and forever, and need not to appear for you to believe because you are measured by your faith in the God “who calls those things that don’t exist as though they do”. Why? Because they do.
So it was everything defining the Jews of old, be at the laws the feast the prophets the buildings and the artifacts that were disassembled unraveled to never be repeated because they were only a temporary addendum to the promises made to Abraham. Moses was an add on that was fulfilled. Now we are back on track. They are so emphatically fulfilled and destroyed, every debt and every payment cleared and made good so that it never needs to be revisited or rebuilt. Even as it says in Hebrews of the New Covenant in force, “He made the first covenant obsolete”. Even as scripture says that the law was added till Faith Comes, and in the fullness of time God sent forth his son born from a woman to redeem those who are under the law”. The redemption has already taken place. That is why that whole culture is history. Christ took the law that was contrary to us, nailed it to the cross and neutralized the effects of its accusations, sins, condemnation and fear. That’s what the law did. It kept you in the perpetual feasts and focus on sin and sacrifices. That is why “he who sins has neither seen Him or known Him” and that is why now living on the redemptive side of the Law the prophets and sin “the accusor of the brethren has been cast down “. Because “He has perfected forever those who come to Him”. And we did.
The Kingdom of God is emphatically at hand. And it has nothing to do with the imitation on earth. Do not be fooled by the Jerusalem of our day.