Happy Pentecost (May 23, 2021) to all beloved brothers and sisters in Christ! Pentecost is a VERY special day for the Church. ON Sunday, may 23, 2021 we celebrated the BIRTHDAY of the Church, and the start of the Age of Grace.
Time…..defined as “the ongoing and continuous sequence of events that occur in succession, from the past through the present to the future“. We live in a physical world with its four known space-time dimensions of length, width, height (or depth) and time.
Psalm 93:2: Your throne is established from of old; You are from eternity.
Psalm 90:2: Before the mountains were born, Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
1 Peter 1:20: For He (Jesus/Word of God) was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
In Psalm 90:4, Moses wrote ” For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”.
Although God is outside of time and space, HE CREATED both time and space to fulfill His purposes.
Genesis 1:3: Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Hebrews 1:2: Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (ages). (God made the “ages”, God created time).
Theologians have divided up the “timeline of man” into 7 dispensations or segments of time. Dispensationalism is the belief that God has been revealing Himself and His plan of salvation through a system of historical progression. Some people claim that dispensationalism is a Church doctrine that began in the early 20th century. These are the same people who falsely claim that the Rapture doctrine began in the 1800’s. They neglect to mention that many of the early Church Fathers and many from the Reformation taught both dispensationalism AND the Rapture of the Church.
The Church has slipped deeply into apostasy in these last days!
2 Timothy 4:3: For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires,
2 Thessalonians 2:3: No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
God continues to reveal more and more about Himself and His plan of Salvation as we progress through each new dispensation. Each segment of time does not stand alone, but builds on what has already been revealed which is why it is a Progressive Revelation.
For instance, during the “age of LAW”, the idea of the message of the Jewish Messiah spreading to the Gentile nations was present, but was a MYSTERY that would be REVEALED in the latter days.
Isaiah 49:6: He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant (JESUS CHRIST/MESSIAH)
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the protected ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations (JESUS IS A LIGHT TO THE GENTILES)
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Ephesians 3:4: By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to mankind, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
Each dispensation begins with a Covenant or agreement between God and man that BUILDS upon the previous dispensation. We see GOD’S INSTRUCTION that includes man’s responsibility, GOD’S FAITHFULNESS, and MAN’S REBELLION. As man breaks the agreement or Covenant, we also see GOD’S JUDGMENT at the end of each dispensation.
SEVEN DISPENSATIONS OR AGES
1) Age of Innocence: Between the Creation and the Fall of Man in the Garden 👶- Genesis 2-3.
God interacted freely and personally with Adam and Eve during this period. Then they broke the only rule He had given them and were expelled from the Garden. Sin entered the world.
Adam and Eve were responsible to obey, and God would bless them with perfect health and life. If Adam disobeyed, and ate from the tree from of the knowledge of good and evil, death would be the result. Adam and Eve’s lives were conditional on their obedience.
Genesis 3:11: And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” God judged Adam and Eve by kicking them out of the Garden.
2) Age of Conscience: Between the Fall and the Flood 🌈 – Genesis 4-8
The word “conscience” implies man’s SELF-awareness that became available to him after he disobediently ate from the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil. God described the results of this act: “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:22). Man now had implanted in him the ability to discern between moral right and wrong. This internal regulator, enabling man to know the difference between what is good and pleasing to God and what is evil and offensive to God, created a very distinct responsibility and accountability
During the dispensation of CONSCIENCE, God allowed man’s CONSCIENCE to govern his behavior without Divine interference. During this time, the fallen angels mixed seed with human women, and corrupted nearly all flesh. With the sin nature now amplified by the fallen DNA modification scheme, the result was that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually”. God pronounced judgment upon “all flesh”and destroyed all but 8 members of the human race in the Great Flood. God was preserving a PURE, UNTAINTED bloodline through which the MESSIAH would come.
Although mankind would continue to yield to the sin nature and do evil, God PROMISED to NEVER AGAIN destroy the entire earth with a global flood. The RAINBOW was a sign of God’s covenant of MERCY. 🌈 Using the rainbow to promote sexual sin is making a mockery of God’s mercy, taking us BACK TO the DAYS OF NOAH when mankind’s hearts were on evil continually. Evil is our natural human condition and is what happens when we REMOVE God entirely from the picture, relying only on our CONSCIOUS to govern us. (Romans 1).
Matthew 24:36: “But about that day and hour no one knows (Tribulation), not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
3) Age of Human Government … From the Flood to Abraham 🌆 – Genesis 9-11
The ability to discern between right and wrong that had inaugurated the Dispensation of Conscience continued on into this age.
But added to it were very specific instructions given to Noah following his emergence from the ark. After the flood, God told Noah to go forth and repopulate/ replenish the Earth (Genesis 9:7). God also gave Noah’s family detailed instructions that would strengthen man’s governmental authority and stewardship. Man’s rule over the animal kingdom was cemented (Gen 9:2) and his responsibility to guard and uphold the value of human life was highlighted (Gen 9:6).
All Noah’s descendants disobeyed God’s command, setting about instead to build a great city and tower from which to unify into a world without God (YHWH/ELOHIM). (Genesis 11:4). The Babylonian, antichrist spirit was alive and well on the earth after the flood….actively seeking to convince man to reject God and worship the demonic realm. Through partnering with the demonic realm, mankind thought that if they built the tower high enough, up into the heavens (to be LIKE God – Ziggurat), then they could SIN all they wanted and still escape another global flood, should God decide to judge them again. They did NOT believe God’s Word that He would never again destroy the earth with a global flood. God JUDGED them by confusing their unified language, causing them to stop building the tower, and SCATTERING them through out the world (Genesis 11:8-9).
The same Babylonian/antichrist spirit exists today, and is working very hard to create a New World Order, a unified world without the true God (FATHER/SON/HOLY SPIRIT)
4) Age of Promise: From Abraham to Moses👨👩👧👧 – Genesis 12-50
Although most of the world would continue STEEPED in SIN and IDOLATRY (worship of false “gods”), God would now CHOOSE a SMALL GROUP of PEOPLE to whom He would reveal more of Himself and His plan of salvation. GOD CHOSE ABRAHAM, and made a Covenant with him and his descendants.
God promised Abraham several things. First, He would provide a (Genesis 17:8) a son (Isaac) for Abraham and Sarah, an heir. (Genesis 17:15-16). Through Isaac, Abraham would be the father of many nations. God promised Abraham’s descendants the land of Canaan. God also promised that He would bring the Messiah through Isaac’s lineage, who would BLESS ALL NATIONS. But Abraham and Sarah grew tired of waiting and produced a son on their own, who they named Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-2.15). When God’s promised son Isaac was born, Ishmael was sent away (Genesis 21:8-13) causing enmity between the Jews (descendants of Isaac) and Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) that continues to this day.
While sojourning in Egypt, the Israelites began to worship the Egyptian “gods” (idols), and so God allowed them to be taken into captivity IN EGYPT for 430 years. (Ezekiel 20:8).
5) Age of Law: From Moses to Jesus👮♂️ – Exodus 1 – Acts 1
MOSAIC COVENANT (LAW)
The Abrahamic Covenant was God’s promise of redemption to mankind. But as we saw above, God’s chosen people (the Israelites) worshipped other “gods” (idols) and forgot the God who loved them enough to choose them OUT of the world. To fulfill God’s purposes, HE entered into the MOSAIC COVENANT with Moses and the Israelites, giving them THE LAW, the 10 Commandments and numerous ordinances. God also fully established the animal sacrificial system during this dispensation. God was revealing more of His plan of SALVATION to His people (Israel). God would BLESS Israel if they were OBEDIENT to His Covenant of LAW, but He would also CURSE Israel if they REBELLED (as the rest of mankind had rebelled). Israel was supposed to carry the LIGHT of God’s TRUTHS to the world, but they FAILED miserably (as we all have done since this time). After repeated periods of disobedience and REBELLION which CULMINATED in them REJECTING their Messiah King JESUS, God expelled them from their land (Matt. 21:43, Luke 19:41-44).
6) Age of Grace: From Pentecost to the Rapture 🕊 – Acts 2 to Rev. 3
NEW COVENANT – GRACE (GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE)✝
Elohim (Father/Son/Holy Spirit) has been progressively revealing HIMSELF and HIS PLAN OF SALVATION throughout the ages. The culmination of HIS plan is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This was foreshadowed through the Abrahamic Covenant of the Promised Seed (MESSIAH) and through the animal sacrifices in the Mosaic Covenant. During the previous ages, mankind has NOT been able to reach God’s standards of righteousness. We couldn’t do it God has been SHOWING us that we couldn’t do it! God has granted a righteousness by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ to all who accept, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 3:21-24).
All of the previous ages have been proving to mankind that God’s standard of righteousness is unattainable through human agency. The MYSTERY of the Messiah has been woven throughout the dispensations, and fully realized in this final dispensation of GRACE. GRACE is GOD’S FREE GIFT of SALVATION WHICH WHEN RECEIVED, IMPARTS GOD’S PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS and HOLINESS TO US through Jesus Christ, HIS SON. But, Sadly….Most will not accept God’s FREE GIFT of GRACE, will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven, and will be punished through eternity in the LAKE OF FIRE.
Note: It’s important to recognize that Gods GRACE didn’t abolish the Law, it FULFILLED LAW. The Jewish people will remain in the Covenant of LAW for another 7 years following the age of Grace, called Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27), which fills the time between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. During this time all the nations to which Israel has been scattered will be completely destroyed and Israel will be disciplined in preparation for receiving HER KING JESUS and the Kingdom OF GOD. (Jeremiah 30:4-11). At the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming, ALL people, both Jew and Gentile, must become part of the New Covenant of GRACE to receive SALVATION. The Law could never save. The law was added (to conscience) so that mankind could SEE how far we fall short of God’s Righteousness. If mankind was to be judged entirely on LAW, with no GRACE, nobody could be saved.
Galatians 3:19: Why the Law then? It was added on account of the violations, having been ordered through angels at the hand of a mediator, until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; but God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? Far from it! For if a law had been given that was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.
22 But the Scripture has confined everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
7) Kingdom Age: The 1000 Year Reign of Christ that begins with the 2nd Coming👑 – Rev. 6-21
This time Israel will accept the Kingdom offer
(Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 14:8-9). Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:2), all unbelievers will be expelled from the planet (Matt. 25:41-46), and God will once again dwell in the midst of His people (Ezek. 43:6-7). You’d think the world could finally live in a manner pleasing to God. But we can’t. Eventually, with the exception of Israel, the world will again rebel against God and His people. God will send fire to consume them all (Rev. 20:7-10).
God’s amazing plan of salvation, His amazing REVELATION OF HIMSELF to mankind has been continuing for the past 6,000 years.
What time is it now?
We are in the LAST of the LAST DAYS, or just before the conclusion of this dispensation of GRACE with the RESURRECTION and the RAPTURE of the CHURCH, and the start of the DAY OF THE LORD, the final 7 years that will lead us straight into the KINGDOM AGE.
The Age of Grace (Church age) began on Pentecost when the Disciples RECEIVED the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. This was 50 days AFTER Christ’s Resurrection. Some 1400 years earlier on the exact same day, the Law was given to Moses and the Israelites on Mt. Sinai. Isn’t it interesting that the age of LAW and the age of GRACE started on the exact same day? I wonder if the other dispensations might have also started on the same day, though not recorded. We’ll just have to wonder.
As with all previous dispensations, we know HOW the age of Grace will end….it will end with judgment as mankind has trampled under foot the Grace given us through the SON OF GOD. This will be a severe judgment that will affect the WHOLE WORLD. (TRIBULATION).
Hebrews 10:29: How much more severe punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
But now the question is….WHEN does the age of GRACE CONCLUDE and the NEW DISPENSATION begin (DAY OF THE LORD/KINGDOM)?
Romans 11:25: For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
There are different interpretations and theories on what the “fullness of the gentiles” means. We will go into this in more detail in a new post titled “Fullness of the gentiles”.
Another clue can be found in the MYSTERY of the THIRD DAY in the book of Hosea.
Matthew 23:39: For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
When the Son of God was crucified, He RETURNED to Heaven and will remain there until His people Israel say “Blessed is HE who comes in the NAME of the Lord.” At the very end of the Tribulation, Israel WILL CRY out to the LORD because all nations will be gathered together against them. The only ONE who will stand to DEFEND Israel is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. As they are literally about to be wiped off the map, Israel will CRY out to Jesus, and He WILL rescue them.
Zechariah 12: 10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of pleading, so that they will look at Me whom they pierced; and they will mourn for Him, like one mourning for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
Does the Bible give us ANY CLUES as to approximately WHEN Jesus will return? (without knowing the day or the hour)? We have a potential clue in Hosea 6.
Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
3Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea prophesied that after “two days” the houses of Judah and Israel would return to the LORD in repentance and faith during a time of great affliction. God promises to “revive” them after two days and on the “third day” , raise them up so that they may forever live before Him.
This prophecy applies both to the first and second coming of Christ. After coming the first time Messiah returned again to his place (HEAVEN) — which is the Ascension of Christ — and then after two days Messiah will return and resurrect His people. In Jesus’ first comng, He was RESURRECTED literally on the THIRD DAY. As a pattern, it seems very likely that Jesus will RETURN (second coming) on the THIRD MILLENNIAL DAY – after 2000 years are complete.
We know in 2nd Timothy that a day to God is like 1000 years and 1000 years is like a day…so we could be looking at Christ’s return after 2000 years.
Many scholars believe Jesus was crucified in 31AD..Others say it could be as early as 28AD. There is no real way to know for sure. But one thing we definitely know, it was approximately 2000 years ago, so the time is growing shorter and shorter.
The seven year Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week) could begin anytime now! This is why we are seeing so many signs of the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.
Increasing Christian persecution, false prophets and teachers, spirit of Lawlessness, love of many growing cold (mean-spirited people), apostasy and falling away in the Church, Global pestilence (Corona Virus, Swine Flu, etc), famines, increased travel and technology, wars/rumors of war, Race wars, Earthquakes in various places, Waves and seas roaring (climate change), Nations in distress, Increase in travel and technology
If you thought that Jesus could be back on this earth setting up His Kingdom in the year 2028 AD (2000 years after He was crucified)…How might you live differently?
The signs of the end-times are all around us. It appears that we are living on “borrowed time”.
Are you ready? If Jesus were to return today, would He be your “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:11-14) or would He be your “Holy Terror” (Revelation 6:12-17)? If you have never received Him as your Lord and Savior, NOW is the time to act. Let today be the day of your salvation!! Repent of your sins, and call upon the name of the Lord that you might be saved (Acts 2:14-39).