Easy Bible Guide Part 3 – Maintaining a good overview of the Scriptures


Maintaining a good overview of the Scriptures

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Christian Back to Basics

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Easy Bible Guide Excerpt

Pastor Steven Birnie

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Having and maintaining a good overview of the Scriptures is an essential element to grasping what’s being said and when these things happened and one of the best ways to illustrate the Scriptures as briefly and simply as possible, will be to detail the Seven Great Ages of the history of mankind. The Seven Great Ages or Dispensations, begins in Genesis and ends in the Book of Revelations detailing the times and the seasons of mankind and, the promises and judgements of God but more than that, they uncover an undying love of a God, toward the people he created, even when they disobeyed him, turned their back on him and even worshipped false gods. Hopefully you’ll see that love and God’s plans, both fulfilled and plans to come, to rescue mankind from the fall of mankind……

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“…If you’re reading this as part of the Support Pages of the Tribulation Soldier Series of EBooks, then you can focus on the Sixth and final Seventh Age of Mankind’s History in our Easy Bible Guide to see where these ‘End Times’ EBooks find their place in the timeline of the Seven Great Ages of Mankind…”

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The First Age – The Edenic Dispensation ending in Judgement – Expulsion from Paradise 

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Sometimes referred to as the ‘Age of Innocence’ when God established the Heavens and the Earth, created the animals and the fishes and formed mankind in the fashion of a male called Adam and a female Eve. This age marks the beginning of man’s relationship with God, firstly with Adam and Eve enjoying direct fellowship with God in bliss and perfect harmony to their rebellion towards him, allowing sin to enter the heart of mankind. This age ended in judgement, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden with a curse put upon man with a promise, that God would indeed redeem man with a coming Messiah – Jesus Christ.

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The Second Age – Antediluvian Dispensation ending in Judgement – Noah’s Flood

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With the Edenic age past, the Word then begins to focus on the sons of Adam and Eve and the following generations coming to the eighth from Adam called Noah. Noah was a righteous man in the eyes of God in the midst of an evil and perverse world and due to the ever-increasing sin of mankind, God told Noah that he would send a great judgement upon the earth by way of a worldwide flood. He promised the righteous Noah, that he would save him and his family instructing him to build an Ark over a 65 year period to house the animals of the earth. This Noah did and God’s great judgement came to pass covering the earth with water, destroying everything but the Ark bringing to an end the Antediluvian Dispensation with a promise, that God would never again flood the earth as a judgement.

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The Third Age – Post Antediluvian Dispensation ending in Judgement – The Tower of Babel

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This age follows the path of mankind after Noah and his family as the earth began to repopulate and come together as a people again. As time went on, the Word shows us that man-made the decision again to move themselves away from God coming together to build a great city with a tower in the midst called the Tower of Babel. With man’s continued sin against the Lord, God judged the people at the Tower of Babel giving them different languages and tongues causing them to separate from each other, each with their own kind and language bringing to an end the Post Antediluvian Age.

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The Forth Age – Patriarchal Dispensation ending in Judgement – The Law 

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With mankind scattered, speaking their own languages and separating themselves into tribes and nations, the scriptures then follow on, with God separating himself a people of his own through the lives of the Biblical Patriarchs beginning with Abraham, his son Isaac and then his son Jacob. God, through these men and their families, begins to build a nation which would later become known as Israel. Later this nation is driven to the land of Egypt due to famine in the land of Canaan where Jacob is reunited with his estranged son Joseph, now the Prime minister of the of Egypt. There the Israelites settle, living and working in a strange land away from their promised land of Israel however, as the years and generations pass, the people become more and more enslaved by the Pharaohs of the time.

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At this point, Moses, a Hebrew and step-son of the Pharaoh, is driven from Egypt after killing a soldier only to be built up, prepared by God and sent back to set the Children of Israel free and take them back to their own promised land. Through the assurance of God, Moses returns demanding of his former Royal Family, to set the Hebrew Nation free in the name of the Lord or suffer the consequences of God’s Judgement. The warnings are ignored and what followed, were great judgements including turning the water supply to blood, a plague of frogs and finally, God taking away each of the first-born of Egypt, including Pharaoh’s own son.

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Finally, Pharaoh gives up and allows the Hebrews safe passage so Moses, along with his family, lead the children of Israel out of the land however Pharaoh’s mind changes, sending his Army after the slaves. The Children of Israel, defenceless, cornered and outnumbered, wait at the edge of the Red Sea while God, through Moses, parts the sea allowing the Hebrews safe passage, while destroying the Pharaoh’s Army in the midst. With the land of Egypt now behind them, the Hebrews would now begin to wander for 40 years in the wilderness while God prepared them as a people bringing this age to a close in judgement, the giving of the Law.

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The Fifth Age – Legal Dispensation ending in Judgement – The Judgement of Sin on the Cross 

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The Legal Dispensation follows the ‘Children of Israel’ from the giving of the Law to Moses in the wilderness. During this time, God began to teach and prepare the people to become the people of God and after much wanderings, trials and notable events including the building of the Tabernacle, he drew them to the River Jordan to view their promised land. What follows, is the death of Moses and the appointment of Joshua to go into the land of Canaan to conqueror and take back the land of their forefathers beginning with God parting the Jordan and taking the nation forward.

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The next stage of this age details the conquest of Israel and follows on through the Judges and Kings, most notably the lives of King Saul, King David and King Solomon. This age takes up many of the Books of the Old Testament including Proverbs, the Psalms and the major and minor prophets detailing the history of Israel from great battles and victories, to shameful sin and captivity by enemies however all, would lead up to and speak of, the most important moment in the history of mankind, when the Age of the Law would come to an end by the judgement of sin on the cross.

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This is when the Legal Dispensation crosses over into the Gospels of the New Testament and after a 400 year silence of the scriptures, the birth of the promised Messiah Jesus Christ and his earthly ministry, preaching and teaching the Kingdom of God. Through great miracles, healings, signs and wonders to his eventual capture, trial, death, burial and resurrection, Jesus did what no man could have ever have done. He lived his life, every moment of everyday, in thought word and deed without sin, to eventually present himself before God willingly to pay the price for mankind’s sin and satisfy God wrath against sin.

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By his act, mankind could now be reconciled to God after the transgressions of Adam and Eve and enter into a true and real relationship with God not through works or rules but by his Grace. Now, mankind could receive complete forgiveness of sins, true life and liberty, adoption into the family of God, an Indwelling of his Spirit, freedom from the old Law and, the promise of Eternal life in Heaven. This single act by Jesus fulfilled all of the promises and prophecies of the Messiah throughout the Old Testament, bringing the Age of the Law to a close and opening up his New Dispensation, the Age of Grace and Worldwide Evangelism.

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The Sixth Age – Grace Dispensation WILL END in Judgement – The Tribulation Period

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This great Dispensation of Grace is the age we now live in as Christians which begun the moment Christ gave up the Ghost on the cross fulfilling every requirement of God. 2000 years ago, at the end of the Gospels, Jesus appeared to his disciples as promised and assured them of the resurrection and after he spent 40 days teaching them the Kingdom of God, He was taken up into Heaven to stand at the right hand of the Father where he remains today. A few days later again as promised, Jesus sent his Spirit upon the disciples to empower them to preach the Gospel, perform miracles and build his Church.

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The early history of Christ building his Church through his apostles and disciples is recorded in the Book of Acts which begins with a focus on the apostle’s labours and moves on to the calling of a man who would write most of the Epistles in the New Testament, Paul the Apostle. Paul’s conversion and subsequent labours took him away from his old life as a Jewish Priest of the Old Law, to preaching the Gospel of Jesus, establishing churches and travelling extensively around the Mediterranean where he suffered many things as Jesus had told him.

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Finally Paul ended up in Rome after many years of labours where he was executed not unlike most of the apostles of the time however, he had ran his course, allowing Jesus full access to live his life through Paul and many others, to lay a foundation of teaching and revelation which we follow today.

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Today, we remain in that Dispensation of Grace and Worldwide Evangelism allowing Jesus by his Spirit to work through us to build his church and reach the lost however, like all of the other ages before, this present age will come to an end and it will end in the Sixth Great Judgement of God, the Trials and Tribulation Period.

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No one can know when this period will begin however we can know for sure how it will begin. The Word tells us that at some point in the future, Jesus will return for his church and ‘The Dead in Christ’ catching them away from this present world to be first judged at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Here there will be judgement with no punishment beginning the seven-year Marriage Feast of the Lamb in Heaven and the Trials and Tribulation Judgement upon the earth.

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This season of the history of mankind is described in a frightening way detailing many of the aspects which will take place during this time including the rise of the Anti-Christ, one world religion, slavery and an eventually World War. At the end, the Nation of Israel will be encompassed and almost overrun by its enemies however, Jesus will return to judge the earth at The Throne of his Glory bringing an end to the Trial and Tribulation Period and laying down all rule.

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The Seventh Age – The Millennial Reign of Christ WILL END in Judgement – The Great White Throne

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This age will begin with the Judgement of the living nations at the Throne of his Glory where he will separate his sheep (believers and Israelites) from his goats (the unbelieving) and reign on earth for the next 1000 years. Much study is involved in understanding this period from what little is known however, the word tells us that his church will reign with him and preside as judges of the earth. This period like all will begin to draw to a close with the losing of Satan once again for a short season. In this time, the devil will encourage the living nations to rise up against the Lord in one final battle however, God will destroy the army with fire ushering in his Final Judgement Seat, The Great White Throne.

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This seat of judgement is when every unrighteous person who has ever lived will be resurrected from Hell to face the final judgement of God after which they, Satan, the Anti-Christ and Hell itself will be thrown into the Lake of Fire being eternally separated from the righteous. This brings to a close the history of mankind with the unrighteous in eternal judgement and the righteous in eternal bliss in Heaven with God. This is where we as Christians will ever be with the Lord and there will be no more pain, no need for sleep, food or drink and never again, will a Christian feel distant from God as we will be with him for every moment of eternity.

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The above, through much labours and study, is the most simple and brief overview of the Scriptures I could offer as a foundation and introduction to his Word hopefully through showing the major points, the thread of history and most of all, God’s great love for mankind. Time and time again we see mankind come to God and rebel against God, with him always providing a method to restore fellowship with the people he loves and his ultimate and one time method, was that of through his dear Son Jesus Christ. Spoken of from Genesis through the Old Testament, appearing 2000 years ago to pay the penalty for sin and he continues today, to stand at the right hand of God speaking for each one of us until the day he returns.

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Like every other age before, this history of mankind will end in the final judgement of God and it’s that judgement, along with the Tribulation Period to come, to which we labour to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ warning those without Christ of the penalty of ignorance. We can only hope that by the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that he will indeed empower his churches, in every area of the world, to preach the message with boldness and with the same love God shares for his people.

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Blessings

Pastor Steven Birnie

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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.