The End of the Age

Part One of four: The day of Pentecost

Jesus had just finished His last scathing condemnation [1] of the Pharisees [2], so He sat there in the temple mourning its imminent destruction. Christ eventually got up; left the city, crossed the Kidron Valley, and went east to the Mount of Olives where He could look down on the temple courtyard.

Not only had the lord just told the disciples that the temple would be destroyed [3], but the Roman soldiers had occupied and oppressed the people of Israel at the time. Israel was going through some birth pangs as they headed into a new dispensation of God’s dealings with man. Change was in the air.

As the Lord sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately saying, Tell us, when [4] shall these things be? and what [5] shall be the sign [6] of your coming [7], and the end [8] of the world [9]?

The disciples asked three questions, the first was in response to Jesus’s comment about the destruction of the temple. The other two were about Christ’s coming [10] and the end of the age. It would behoove us to ascertain what the disciples meant when they asked the Lord “What shall be the sign. . . of the end of the world?

God does not look at the timeline of history in the same way that we do. He does not look at reginal history but looks at history in terms of His dealings with man. There are basically eight dispensations [11] of God’s dealings with man. In Judaism, rabbi’s also taught that every age ended in pain as in the birth pangs of a woman with child [12]. These birth pangs bring on the next age, or dispensation, of God’s dealing with man.

We are in the age of the last days [13]. The last days began on the day of Pentecost and were the fulfillment of Joel 2:28 when God poured out His spirit. The age of the Law ended and birthed the last days in great pain because the Romans occupied Israel and oppressed the people as I have already mentioned earlier.

The last days will last until the rapture of the church, which could come at any moment because all prophecy is complete up to this time in history. Nothing else needs to happen prophetically until the Lord snatches us up [14] and we no longer have to wait for our blessed hope in Jesus Christ [15]. The age of the last days has lasted for 2000 years. Since this age has lasted so long it will bring on the scoffers [16]. Big mistake.

Further study of Matthew 24 reveals that many things are coming our way. However, Jesus encourages us in Matthew 24:6 with a negative in front of the word troubled. Jesus didn’t say, “DO the best you can do,” He said, “. . .see that ye be not troubled.” There isn’t too much we can misunderstand about this Scripture. Like I have been saying, concentrate and focus on Christ.

v1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
v2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
v3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God [Colossians 3:1-3 KJV].

It is from Christ’s mouth to our ears, “Do NOT be troubled. No worries, I’ve got this. Trust in me, believe in me, lean on me, and follow me. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge me and I’ll direct your paths. I will keep you safe until I come for your spirit.” That is very encouraging to me. How about you?

Next week: Usually the most important thing to someone will be the first point they bring up in a conversation. Therefore, next week, we’ll study Matthew 24:4, 5.
[1] Seven woes
[2] Matthew 23
[3] Matthew 24:2 This was fulfilled in 70AD exactly as Jesus predicted.
[4] The Greek word for “when” is “Pote.” It means “at what time, how long, when.”
[5] The Greek word for “what” is “tis.” It means “exactly, concretely, no general terms.”
[6] The Greek word for “sign” is “semeion.” It means “the authenticating mark, or proof.”
[7] The Greek word for “your coming” is “Parousia.” It is a technical term for “the coming of the King.
[8] The Greek word for “end” is “sunteleia.” It means complete, final, wrap-up, termination.
[9] Matthew 24:3 The Interlinear Bible translates the word “World” as “age” as it should have been. The Greek word for “age” is “aion.” It means “the particular age in which we live.
[10] This is Christ’s second coming, not the rapture. Christ will not come to Earth for the rapture. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that He will meet us in the air.
[11] 1. The age of innocence 2. The age of moral conscious 3. The age of the Patriarchs 4. The age of the giving of the Law 5. The age of the last days 6. The age of the tribulation 7. The age of the millennial reign 8. The age of eternity. Some expositors teach seven dispensations, while others teach nine. Yet again there could be many dispensations depending on how far a teacher wanted to break down God’s dealings with man. They may even use different terminology to define the age. For example, number 5, “the age of the last days,” some call the church age, while others say it is the age of grace. No problem. They are correct. However the technical term is “the last days,” (Acts 2:16-18). The terminology is not really important and isn’t worth the argument with one another.
[12] Matthew 24:8 The Greek word for “sorrows” is “odin,” which means pang as in child birth.
[13] The age of the last days started at Pentecost through Joel’s prophecy 2:28. Paul quotes Joel 2:28 in Acts 2:17.
[14] 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 The Greek word for ‘caught up’ is harpazo or a ‘snatching up’ by force. You can find some other verses concerning the rapture in Titus 2:13; John 14:3; Matthew 24:30, 31; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Philippians 3:20, 21
[15] Titus 2:13
[16] 2 Peter 3:3, 4

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