“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” –Hebrews 12:25-29“The corruptions of heaven and earth will be purged by fire…” –John Calvin
The language here is very symbolic but it is evident we are dealing with the judgment of God upon the temporal reign of Satan, the kingdom of men and the dominion of sin.
The language here in Hebrews is very prophetic and taken from the Old Testament prophets. This passage and those associated with it have been used indiscriminately and inaccurately over the last few decades to prop up Dispensationalism’s end of time errors.
However, the obvious point by the writer of Hebrews is to warn his audience not to refuse to hear the voice of Jesus Christ. There is no way to escape the judgment of God if we turn away from Christ because only His Kingdom will remain as the earth is shaken to destroy all things that oppose God.
The mistake Dispensationalists and many others make is to misunderstand the audience and time of this declaration.
John Gill writes in his commentary on this passage:
“…some understand of what will be done at Christ's coming to judgment; as the passing away of the heavens and the earth, which are things that are made, or created, by the power of God; when there will be a shaking of them, so as that they shall be removed, and pass away with a great noise; and so they interpret the next clause, of the permanency of the new heavens and the new earth, and of the immovable kingdom of glory, and the never fading inheritance of the saints; and of their fixed, unalterable, and unshaken state: but rather this is to be understood of Christ's coming to the destruction of Jerusalem; when there was an entire removal of the Jewish state, both political and ecclesiastical; and of the whole Mosaic economy; and of things appertaining to divine worship, which were made with hands, as the temple, and the things in it; and which were made to be removed; for they were to continue no longer than the time of reformation: and this removing of them designs the abolition of them, and entire putting an end to them; at which time, not only their civil government was wholly put down, but their ecclesiastic state also; for the place of their worship was destroyed, the daily sacrifice ceased, and the old covenant, and the manner of administering it, vanished away; and all the legal institutions and ordinances, which were abolished by the death of Christ, were no more performed in Jerusalem; the temple and temple service perishing together…the kingdom and priesthood of Christ, which are everlasting; and the good things which come by him, as remission of sins, justification, adoption, sanctification, and the heavenly inheritance; as also the Gospel, and the doctrines and ordinances of it, baptism, and the Lord's supper, and the mode of Gospel worship; all which are to continue until Christ's second coming.”
No doubt this is the context and timing of the passage. However, there is a principle here in our passage concerning the eternal nature of Christ’s Kingdom and the fall of all others that oppose God.
The Psalmist understood this when he wrote:
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” –Psalm 2:1-9
Yes, God is a consuming fire and all those who exalt themselves against God shall be destroyed.
Therefore, the things we are witnessing in America should come as no surprise. Did American Christians actually think we could sow to the wind and not reap the whirlwind?
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…” –Hosea 8:7“For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.” –Isaiah 66:15
Foolishly, we have been dancing in destruction. For years I heard preachers condemn those who rejected the gospel by pronouncing their intent to party in hell. Yet, is this not what the Church has been doing in America?
We have failed to believe the most basic doctrine of Scripture concerning the justice of God.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” –Galatians 6:7
Instead of repenting as judgment came upon our land the Church has been partying like it was 1999. Many falsely believed they would escape the judgment of God; others were unconcerned.
At any rate, while the enemy was infiltrating our defenses, we were eating and drinking like Belshazzar. Our end shall not be any different.
“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” –Daniel 5:30
The good news is that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ shall have no end. Therefore, if we would repent and return to the Lord our God our land would be healed.
However, this does not seem to be any time soon. Most Christians are content rejoicing in their apostasy and dancing with the devil in the midst of their destruction. But it will not be long until the tune changes and American Christians will have no song.
Jerusalem did not fare so well in 70 A. D. and neither will America if we continue to refuse Him who speaks from heaven.