Hebrews 12:25-29, NKJV
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape
who refused Him who spoke on earth, how much more shall we not escape
if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then
shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I
shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,'
indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of
things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may
remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be
shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with
reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”
The writer is drawing from the words of Haggai 2:6-10, 21 and issuing an admonition to his readers who are believers, not to refuse to hear the word of God. This really has nothing to do with the second advent.
The writer first equates the authority of the One who spoke on earth – Jesus, to that of the One who spoke in time past from heaven. This seems to refer to the giving of the law at Sinai. The admonition given by the Hebrew writer carries a warning – there will be no escape if we refuse to hear the word of God, not then and not now, not for them and not for us.
Haggai 2:6-10, 21, NKJV
“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I
will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake
all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I
will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver
is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of
this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of
hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
“Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: ‘I will shake heaven
and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the
strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots and
those who ride in them; The horses and their riders shall come down,
every one by the sword of his brother. In that day,’ says the Lord of
hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’
says the Lord, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have
chosen you,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
The things shaken (heaven and earth), is metaphoric language to describe the shaking of nations. In other words, God was moving, overthrowing, and setting up nations throughout human history to fulfill his will for the coming of their Messiah. This is how the language is applied in Haggai. “I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.” Throughout the course of human history, nations rose and fell according to the will of God. One need only read the book of Daniel to see how God said he was manipulating the nations of the world for his own purposes, and Haggai was one of the prophets during the time of the construction of Zerubbabel's temple while all of this history was in the process of taking shape. What this tells us is that human history does not just happen. Human history is not the product or human will or direction. Human history is the product of the will and direction of God for his own purposes.
Here, Haggai spoke of things yet to come from his perspective. The Hebrew writer quotes from Haggai confirming that the words of the prophet were been fulfilled in his time through “Him who spoke on earth.” The “Yet once more” is clearly defined by the Hebrew writer in verse 28 as the kingdom we “are receiving” that “cannot be shaken.” Παραλαμβάνοντες is an active present participle which means the Hebrew writer was making a present application, not a future application, of the prophets words. The end result of the shaking of heaven and earth was the redemption of people out of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation, Rev. 5:9.