Lesson 92 talks about when the end of the world may happen. A huge discussion was started about the terms "age" and "world" and the ideas of preterism versus futurism. That sparked a few more discussions. This lesson will show you the idea of what the ages of mankind, Israel, and covenants all look like on a chronological scale. Below is the timeline of man's existence. Based on lesson 92, which is based on scripture, the time of man's reign is 6000 years.
The Main Black Line: As you see there is "time" before man. Only God is eternal. All else was created. However at the right hand end of the timeline you see an eternal future. This is the promised eternal life that Jesus stated in John 3:16 and is a common theme in all of Christianity. The rest on the line just shows years in 1000 year increments. Hence, a total of 7000 years that includes the Reign of Christ.
The Blue Boxes: These just show important historical events of mankind that deal with Biblical concepts. The first set of numbers in each box is the year since the creation of man. The second number is the modern acceptance of a calendar. The Second Advent (2nd Coming of Christ) is not on here due to space, but it would be at 6000. The "rapture" is also not on here because it could be anytime between the creation of Israel in 1948 and the end around 2063.
The Red Range: Two major covenants deal with the destruction of man. Perhaps the Adamic Covenant should have been placed at the beginning of this one and may change given any more thought. After God spared Noah He promised not to destroy the Earth with water, but the next time (promised inferred) by fire. The world will be destroyed by fire. Maybe this is how the New Heavens and New Earth will be started. Once the old goes away, the new will come. Maybe the destruction by fire will be after the 1000 year reign; for now it will stay there.
The Blue Range: There are three ways that God gave mankind that dealt with the shedding of blood to save the relationship between Himself and us. The Abrahamic Covenant had man circumcised. This circumcision was a cutting of the flesh. With the flesh cut, man would rely upon God. And with that God counted Abraham as righteous. If man could have kept faith there would not have been any need for anything else. But the Israelites would turn away from this covenant. They would fall into captivity. But after 400 years (210 actually in the land of Egypt) God called them out. He then gave them a new covenant, the Ten Commandments. The shedding of blood would now be of a spotless lamb; Abraham saw this. It was created to show that man by himself could not get the relationship back. The Law could never be kept perfectly, hence the shedding of innocent blood was still needed. If man could have kept the Law then no killing would have been needed. Jesus was sent because the Law would not be sufficient since man distorted the Law. Pharisees and teachers of the Law created religion, Matthew 23. When Jesus laid down His life and shed His blood, the Law would pass and usher in the time of Grace; Abraham saw this too. Once Jesus returns there will be no need for Grace for all who are alive in Him shall be in Paradise for 1000 years and eventually with Him in "heaven".
The Black Range: This is the timeline of Israel.
- It was first created when Jacob's name was changed to Israel somewhere around 1720 BC.
- They were taken into "captivity" for 210 years, 1692-1482 BC.
- The Creation of Israel (2nd time, judges and kings) from Moses to Jehoiachin, 1482-587 BC, during this time period the Temple was built.
- The Babylonian Captivity for 70 years, 587-517 BC.
- The Pax Romana, Rome and the Greeks spread the culture, Israel came home and was allowed to be self autonomous in many ways, 517 BC- 70 AD. During this time period a second Temple was created, although the spiritual Temple was established.
- The Gentile Captivity (Age of the Gentiles), 7 gentile kingdoms will control Israel, 70-1948 AD see Lesson 92 for list.
- The creation of Israel (again, the 3rd time), Jews will return until the end, 1948-2070 AD. During this time period, a third Temple will be created.
When it all comes down to it the words age and covenant, age and world, age and eons, are all very similar. There are many ages. There are many covenants. They can overlap, not a good thing sometimes. To understand which term is being used, you have to look at the whole passage and the context it is being used. It should be literal as much as possible unless it is being used in prophecy or poetry then the possibility of imagery could play a factor.