Lesson Four:
Four Ages of the Jews


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THE BIBLE IS THE HISTORY of Israel. Everything that is written after the flood relates to her. The nations mentioned in the Bible are mentioned because of their relationship, positive or negative, with Israel. Israel is God�s timepiece for history. This is made clear in Revelation chapter twenty-one verse one. Here we have a woman (Israel) clothed with the sun (God�s favor); she has the moon under her feet (showing that time/history is submissive to her) and a crown of twelve stars upon her head (representing the twelve sons of Israel). We can know where we are on God�s prophetic timeline by watching this favored one of God.

The first age of the Jews is the age of beginnings. During this time the Jews were non-existent. This is the period that began with creation and ended with the birth of Abram. The world was much different during most of this period. The continents were one; the oceans were not deep; the most vicious of animals lived with man as dogs and cats do today. Animals did not eat animals nor did man eat meat. It never rained and men lived to be close to one thousand years old. Faith was quite different at that time too: most people knew Adam and Eve personally and those who didn�t, knew their sons. That meant that they did not rely upon faith to know God as we do today. They were witnesses to God�s creation of man through Adam and Eve. They heard the stories directly from the mouth of the one who had no ancestors before him. This is where the great mystery comes in: Adam�s descendants sin so greatly that God sees no other alternative than to destroy mankind and start over again.

Three hundred and fifty-two years after the flood (2348 BC), Abram is born (1996 BC). God calls him at the age of seventy-five to leave his land and go into a land He would show him; at the age of one hundred and twenty-five his faith in God is tested again through the offering of his only son as a sacrifice. Abraham is the father of the Israelites and the first to live in trusting God by faith. To live by faith for Abraham meant to not have heard the stories of creation and the fall and the flood from someone who was there. He had to fully trust in a God whom he had only heard about from his father and grandfather. There were no longer any eyewitnesses alive. Those who would now trust in God must trust Him not with sight and sound, as before the flood, but now believing though they have not seen.

Abraham began the period of the Patriarchs, which would end with the period of the Judges. The Judges would end with the period of the kings in 1095 BC when Saul becomes Israel�s first king. This age of beginnings, from creation to Israel�s last king before being taken into captivity by the Babylonians, lasted 3397 years.

The second age of the Jews is the age of the times of the Gentiles. This is that period of time when the Jews lose control over Jerusalem to the Gentile nations. It began with their being taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC and would not end until they gained control over Jerusalem 2554 years later in 1948 AD.

The third age of the Jews is the age of the end times. This is that period of time when the Jews would be banned by the Romans from their homeland. Not only did they not have control over Jerusalem, they were no longer permitted to live in Jerusalem. They lived in gentile lands among gentile people, keeping their identity alive. They were people without a home, but never did they quit being a people unique from the culture in which they lived. They lived this way for almost 1900 years. In 1948 they became a people with a home when Israel was reborn as a nation and the Jews gained control over Jerusalem again. This leads us to the fourth age of the Jews.

The fourth age of the Jews is the age of great tribulation. When the Jews give control of their most holy place to the Antichrist, he breaks their trust, defiles their sacred place, and turns on them with a vengeance that has never been seen in all of history. Out of this fire, the Jews will recognize Jesus as their long awaited Messiah and receive him as their own. The stage has been set for this prophecy to be fulfilled. This is the last age of the Jews and the Antichrist�s appearance is imminent. I do not look for the immanency of a rapture, it will not happen before the Antichrist is revealed, but after, right before God begins to pour out His great and dreadful wrath.

The witness of Scripture and our present age is clear that the Jews will soon enter the age of great tribulation at the end of history.

Scripture also gives witness to a political leader who will be identified as the Antichrist.

We will look at the Antichrist in lesson five.

Hold fast till Christ returns!