Which Salvation Arrived in AD 70? Heavenly or Physical Salvation?


 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”  (Heb. 9:28, KJV)

The English word chosen in Heb. 9:28 as “save” or “salvation” is the Greek word “σωτηρία” or “soteria” and it means “deliverance, salvation”. It is used for “welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety”. (Strong’s Gr. 4991)

The root word is “sozo”, Strong’s Gr. 4982 which means to rescue, save. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon has the meaning for this usage in Heb. 9:28 under definition “c. future salvation”. (1)

Most commentators try to make this fit within the concept of heavenly salvation. However, when we keep in mind the first audience perspective, the immediate circumstances of those who heard and read these words when the book of Hebrews was written (approx. AD 60-65), we might better understand that the word the English translators used for “soterian” should have been deliverance or preservation.

The verse is confusing because many readers skip over “not to deal with sin”. His first coming was to take away the sins of the world for those who will believe, and He became the sacrifice that is acceptable to God as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). His sacrifice during His first manifestation was the true and final sin offering “to make an end of sins” (Dan. 9:24), to make an end of the animal sin offerings at that temple in Jerusalem.

When He died on the cross, heavenly salvation was assured for our souls, our spirits at that time. Anyone who had believed and been immersed (baptized) in Christ had the salvation promise of our eternal home in heaven.  Heavenly salvation was made sure at the cross in AD 30 – 31.

So, His second appearance (presence) was not to deal with salvation from sins, because they already had that. His second appearance in that same generation(2) was for judgment against those who pierced Him (Rev. 1:7) and to rescue His saints from the tribulations, persecutions and tyranny of the Sanhedrin and Roman army.

This verse is best rendered in the Complete Jewish Bible.

“so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to deliver those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

He was saving them, rescuing them, preserving the remnant, and delivering them out of the tribulations while they yet lived here on earth, to preserve their earthly lives.

The warning voice to “leave this place” reportedly heard by the Christians still in Jerusalem during the lull of the battle when Cestius Gallus unexpectedly retreated (ca Nov AD 66) is said to be when the Christians fled to Pella.

“It then happened that Cestius was not conscious either how the besieged despaired of success, nor how courageous the people were for him; and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and by despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any reason in the world.” (3)

“The members of the Jerusalem church by means of an oracle, given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the city before the war began and settle in a town in Peraea called Pella.” (4)

“Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence.” (5)

The sights and omens surrounding that Jewish-Roman war which Josephus as well as Tacitus(6) recorded were astounding. And, yet our Lord had warned His disciples of all of these in Matt. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:20-27, KJV)

The English word “redemption” in Luke 21:28 is Strong’s Gr 629 – “ἀπολύτρωσις” or “apolutrósis”. It means “a release effected by payment of ransom, redemption, deliverance. Thayer’s Gr. Lexicon Definition 2 – “deliverance from the hatred and persecutions of enemies by the return of Christ from heaven.”

They had already been bought back / redeemed from their sins if they believed and were baptized (Mark 16:16), but they were also released / delivered from their situation, from harm, from the persecution and the dangers of the war by His return to destroy Jerusalem and that temple.

The people saw these visions in the sky. I am absolutely certain that Caiaphas also saw His return, just as Jesus had told him he would (Matt. 26:64).

Christ returned to rescue them, and deliver them from physical harm so that they could go forth from Jerusalem, and live to teach the gospel (2 Tim. 2:2), passing it on throughout all the ages of the Messiah and His “ecclesia” – “to the ages of the ages” (Eph.3:21 YLT). He preserved the lives of the saints and saved them from death during the tribulation of the Jewish-Roman war of AD 67 – 70.

And, thus the voice of the Lord roared from Zion, and from Jerusalem (Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2; Micah 4:2).

Notes:

1) Strong’s Gr. 4991 – Biblehub

2) See “The Signs of Revelation – Part I: The Time of His Coming” at the right margin.

3) Josephus Flavius AD 75, Wars II, XIX, 7 – here

4) Eusebius c. AD 325, Book III, c.5 – here

5) Josephus Flavius AD 75, Wars VI, V, 3 – here

6) “Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the Gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure.”  Tacitus AD 115, History: Book 5, v 13 here

Edited April 11, 2019.

10 thoughts on “Which Salvation Arrived in AD 70? Heavenly or Physical Salvation?

  1. Hi Gina. I don’t see where you support these assertions about “heaven”: “…When He died on the cross, heavenly salvation was assured for our souls, our spirits at that time. Anyone who had believed and been immersed (baptized) in Christ had the salvation promise of our eternal home in heaven. Heavenly salvation was made sure at the cross in AD 30 – 31….”

    I am torn between the kingdom being in heaven and being “heaven on earth”. I’d appreciate whatever you have that would convince me that the blessed hope is in heaven

    Thanks.

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    1. Heavenly kingdom = kingdom of heaven = kingdom of God. Luke 17:20-21, “…The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
      21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” All those in Christ are in the kingdom. It is a spiritual kingdom, and we are His priests in his kingdom while on this earth (1 Pet. 2:9).

      John the Immerser testifed that he was the friend of the bridegroom (John 3:29) and as such Jesus was the bridegroom. He is the husband of the “ecclesia” / church, the head of His church (Eph. 5:23-25), and the church, the saints are the bride of Christ, presented to Him as pure without spot (Eph. 5:27), and we are the members of that church , the members of His body (Eph. 5:30). The bride of Christ is Israel, and as all who are in Christ are counted for the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:26-29), all counted for the seed of Abraham are the Israel of God.

      The marriage of the bride to the bridegroom – the Israel of God, the church, His saints took place after the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 22:1-14), and the new Jerusalem prepared as the “bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2), is also the bride of Christ.

      Therefore, the heavenly kingdom that came without observation and is within us is the church, the Israel of God counted for the seed of Abraham, which is also the bride of Christ and the new Jerusalem. It is a spiritual kingdom, physical only in the sense that we are physical beings for the moment. Christ is the head of that church, is our High Priest, ruling at the right hand of the Father, king of the kingdom, king of the church, and we are the body of the church and the kingdom. They are the same.

      The authority rules from heaven over all of the earth, over all of the kingdoms of the earth. He is not on the earth. Our king is in heaven. His dominion is over the entire earth (Dan. 7:14, 18, 27). He rules over all which are in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10).

      But, no where in the Bible do I see “heaven on earth”. That is not promised. New heavens and new earth is the new covenant, the gospel of Christ, just as the old heavens and earth that waxed old and was waning (Heb 8:13) was passing during that first cent. AD, the old Mosaic covenant passed away (Matt. 24:34). Christ’s words compared to the “heaven and earth” that still existed up to the destruction of that temple in AD. 70. Christ’s words, the gospel, the new covenant remains. See more in the posts – “Heaven and Earth Have Passed Away”, “God’s Definitions – Part I: The House of Israel”, “The Signs of Revelation – Part VIII: The New Heavens and the New Earth”, and “Micah’s Prophesy – No More War?”

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  2. Also, regarding this issue of which kind of salvation, can you please tell me if/how this verse correlates, if at all, with the kind of salvation in view?

    [Luk 21:28 ESV] (28) Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

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    1. English word “redemption” in Luke 21:28 is Strong’s Gr 629 – “ἀπολύτρωσις” or “apolutrósis”. It means “a release effected by payment of ransom, redemption, deliverance. Thayer’s Gr. Lexicon Definition 2 – “deliverance from the hatred and persecutions of enemies by the return of Christ from heaven,” They had already been bought back / redeemed from their sins if they believed and were baptized (Mark 16:16), but they were also released / delivered from their situation, from harm, from the persecution and the dangers of the war by His return to destroy Jerusalem and that temple.

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  3. Gina – another excellent post! You are a gifted writer – keep up the posts. Would you mind if I re-posted some of your articles on my website?

    God Bless,

    Ron

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  4. I disagree with your premise. The Second Coming is not a time of Destruction. The Day of the Lord is the time of Destruction, Joel 1:15. Jesus came once to Die on the Cross. He comes for His Second stated purpose (the Second time in the New Testament) to those who eagerly look for His appearance, in order to facilitate their salvation, as He does in Acts 3:19-21.

    Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    The assumption that the Day of the Lord is the Second Coming is a basis for much confusion.

    Respectfully – Brian

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    1. Brian, The promised second appearance (Heb. 9:28) was also referred to by Peter as “the day of the Lord” (2 Pet. 3:10) just as Jesus himself said would be as “a thief in the night”. The reason that many ppl of our generation /time do not recognize the judgment language of the NT is b/c they have not been taught the judgment language from the OT. If you are new to this language and this site, please start at the bottom right margin with Parts I – X of It’s Not The End of The World. Parts III & IV especially review the judgment language in both the Old and New Testaments. The second coming “end of the world” concept has been erroneously taught for the last 130 – 150 years.

      Only the generation that saw His first coming could have a promise of seeing Him as second time. Else every succeeding generation would be expecting two appearances, would they not? I encourage you to keep reading.

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      1. I just finished a comment on 3 peter 3:10 see what you think – 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (ones dwelling in Heaven) shall pass away (the ways of God are neglected through transgression, Lk 15:29) with a great noise, and the elements (elemental or carnal things) shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. In Luke 15:29 the Strong’s word number 3928, commonly translated as “pass away” is used to indicate the “neglecting of a duty” or simply as “disobedience/transgression”. Lu 15:29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed (passed away from or neglected thy commandment, 3829) I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: (KJV) 2Pe 3:11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (KJV) The elemental or carnal aspects (transgressions) of the believer (one dwelling in Heaven) are melted or done away with (dissolved) through the application of discipline.

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      2. This is based upon the traditional teaching of the melting of the “carnal” elements. But that is not the meaning of “elements” in the original Gr. Pls read my post “Frequent Mistakes – Part VI: The End of The World..” Elements was the principals of the law, not the physical earth. We are not taught the original Greek and Hebrew concepts when we read English translations. Without that background understanding, without knowing what the Hebrews / Jews knew, the English translations become empty. Pls read some more.

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