While it’s true that we are in the LAST DAYS, let’s not get carried away. My last post showed that we are in the latter portion of the LAST DAYS, but we have been in the LAST DAYS since the time of Christ. Consider the following study on the two age teaching of Jesus, but first, here is the quote that sparked my response.
>>>quote>>As I’ve said before, the Tribulation period is the Dispensation of Judgment, and it FOLLOWS the Dispensation of the Church Age. The Church Age will have ended, as the Church will have been raptured out and away FROM the wrath to come. I Thess 1:10.<<<
Jesus and his followers always taught two ages; the age that is, and the age that is to come. There is no room in scripture for a "hidden church age" and a "tribulation/judgement age" before the Millennial Kingdom, which is the age that is to come.
Here are some scriptures referring to the two age teaching of the Bible. If you are serious about this, you’ll have to look up the scriptures up on your own.
Matthew 13:40, and whole parable for context ~ Note especially that the wheat and tares grow together until the end of the age. There is no room in this parable for the removal of all the wheat, and then another age with wheat and tares intermingled, then the judgement. They are intermingled during this age, but at the conlusion of this age, all things that offend will be gathered out of His kingdom at which time the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Luke 20:34, 35 ~ Note that the age to come is the age of the resurrection.
Ephesians 1:21, and just to add to the viability of this view, look up all the other occurrences of the word throughout Ephesians; 3:9, 3:21, 6:12. Note ~ This shows us that the language of the two age teaching carried right over into the teachings of the Apostle Paul. This deals a blow to hyper-dispensationalists who would separate the teachings of Christ from the teachings of the Apostle Paul with respect to the end times or the so-called "hidden church age".
Hebrews 6:5 ~ Here is where the teachings of Ladd shine forth. Those who have partaken of the Holy Spirit in this age, are actually taking part of the power of the age to come. It’s the presence of the future. Those who fall away have only tasted.
Hebrews 9:26, If you are reading KJV, notice the two different Greek words for world in the verse. Strong’s 165 aion (we get our word eon from) ~ best translated age or ongoing world; and Strong’s 2889 kosmos (we get our word cosmos from) ~ best translated universe, or created/ordered world. Cross reference that with Hebrews 1:2 to show that we are in the LAST DAYS of the same age that Christ’s first coming was in, not a separate church age.
Simply put, the writer to the Hebrews is saying that the coming of Christ signalled the end of the age, or the beginning of the last days, "in the end of the world (age) hath he appeared", "hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son". The end of the age will be at Christ’s glorious appearing, see Hebrews 9:28 for the continuation of the thought. We are currently in the LAST DAYS of this age, and on the precipice of the age to come.
Of particular note is the great commission. Matthew 28:18-20. The text plainly teaches that He will be with us (the church) through the preaching of the gospel even unto the end of the age. Matthew 24:9-14 places the time of the fulfillment of this commission IN THE MIDST OF THE TRIBULATION, then the end will come. If you believe the great commission is for the church, you must believe in the two age teaching of Christ. Christ is using the exact same language in the great commission as He uses in the Olivet Discourse for the end of the age. The theme is the same, the preaching of the gospel until the end of the age.
Mark 13:9-13, although worded differently, conveys the exact same teaching; that the publishing of the gospel among all nations will be in the midst of the intense persecution, then the end will come. There is no other place for the church in Christ’s teaching except to preach the gospel all the way until the end of the age, which happens at the visible bodily return of Christ which is referenced in Matthew 24:29-31. This is where hyper-dispensationalism completely breaks down. If the Olivet Discourse is only for the Jews, then how about the Great Commission. Matthew and Mark were both written well after the pouring out of the Holy Spirit which resulted in the birth of the church. The simple inclusion of this teaching in their gospel shows us who it is really addressed to: the church.
Remember what the disciples were asking at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse. They asked, "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the AGE?" Again, the quote from Ephesians 1:21 shows that Paul carried over the two age teaching into the church.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman