The Seven Great Ages of Mankind
THE TRIBULATION SOLDIER TEACHING #3
Within the previous two pages, we examined the two greatest subjects which remain as the constant, not just in our fictional series, but in the entire history of mankind. Jesus and the Cross, was everything history was leading to and, everything we see now, as the final years of mankind’s history unfolds. From Genesis to Revelations, that Sacrifice 2000 years ago, ended the fourth age of mankind and began the fifth, which we live in today. Now, there are two to come, which will bring an end to mankind’s timeline, but it’s ages five and six, where we find the Tribulation Soldier story line and, the events which take place in the biblical end times. So, it’s important that a short time be taken to understand the Seven Great Ages of Mankind.
These Seven Great Ages or Dispensations, begin in Genesis and end in the Book of Revelations, giving us a complete overview of the history and timeline of God’s Word. They show the times and the seasons of mankind, the promises and the judgments of God and most importantly of all, the uncovering of an undying love of God, toward the people He created. The below is a very brief overview of that amazing history and shows us where and when, the fictional Tribulation Soldier publications fit into that very real and non-fictional timeline. So, let’s start from the beginning, so that we can understand the end….
The First Age ‘The Edenic Dispensation’
Ended in Judgement – Expulsion from Paradise
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Age of Innocence’ when God established the heavens and the earth, created the animals, the fishes and formed mankind in the fashion of a male called Adam and a female called Eve. This age marks the beginning of man’s relationship with God, firstly with Adam and Eve enjoying direct fellowship with Him in bliss and perfect harmony, to their rebellion towards Him, allowing sin to enter the heart of mankind. This age ended in a judgement, an 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.
The Second Age ‘Antediluvian Dispensation’
Ended in Judgement – Noah’s Flood
With the Edenic Age past, the Scriptures then begin to focus on the sons of Adam and Eve, the following generations and a man called Noah, the eighth from Adam. Noah was described as a righteous man in the eyes of God in the midst of an evil and perverse world. Due to the ever-increasing sin of man, 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 by instructing him to build an Ark to house the animals of the earth. Noah fulfilled this calling and God’s great judgement came to pass, covering the earth with water. This destroyed everything but the Ark and its passengers, bringing an end to the Antediluvian Dispensation with a promise, that God would never again flood the earth as a judgement.
The Third Age ‘Post Antediluvian Dispensation’
Ended in Judgement – The Tower of Babel
This age follows the path of mankind after Noah and his family, as the earth began to repopulate and come together again as a people. As time passed, the Word shows us that ‘man-made’ decision again, to move themselves away from God, coming together to build a great city, with a structure in the middle, 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.
The Forth Age ‘Patriarchal Dispensation’
Ended in Judgement – The Law
With mankind scattered, speaking their own languages and separating themselves into tribes and nations, the Scriptures follow on, with God separating for Himself a people of His own, through the lives of the Biblical Patriarchs. Beginning with Abraham, his son Isaac and then Isaac’s son Jacob. God, through these men and their families, began to build a nation which would later become known as Israel. Later, this nation was driven into the land of Egypt, due to famine in the land, where Jacob was reunited with his estranged son Joseph, now the Prime Minister of Egypt. There the Israelite’s settled, living and working in a strange land, away from their promised land of Israel. However, as the years and generations passed, the people became more and more enslaved by the Pharaohs of that time.
At that point, Moses, a Hebrew and step-son of the Pharaoh, was 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 promised land. Through the assurances of God, Moses returned, 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. These warnings were ignored and what followed, were great judgments, including a turning of the water supply to blood, a plague of frogs and finally, God taking away each of the first-born of Egypt.
Finally, Pharaoh gave up and allowed the Hebrews safe passage, so Moses along with his family, led the Children of Israel out of the land. However, Pharaoh’s mind changed and he sent his army after the slaves. The Children of Israel, defenceless, cornered and outnumbered, waited at the edge of the Red Sea while God, through Moses, parted the sea, allowing the Hebrews safe passage, all the while destroying the Pharaoh’s army in the midst of the sea. With the land of Egypt now behind them, the Hebrews would now begin to wander the wilderness for 40 years, while God prepared them as a people, bringing that age to a close in a judgement, the giving of the Law.
The Fifth Age ‘The Legal Dispensation’
Ended in Judgement – The Judgement of Sin on the Cross
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 a Nation of God and after much wandering, trials and notable events, including the building of the Tabernacle, He drew them to the River Jordan, to view their promised land. What followed, was the death of Moses and the appointment of Joshua, to go into the land of Canaan to conquer the land of their forefathers and take back their heritage. This began with God parting the Jordan, taking the nation forward.
The next period of this age follows the conquest of Israel, detailed through the Judges and Kings, with a focus on the lives of King Saul, King David and King Solomon. This age takes up many of the Books of the Old Testament, including Proverbs and the Psalms, showing the history of Israel, from great battles and victories, to shameful sin and captivity by their 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.
After a 400 year silence of the Scriptures, this Legal Dispensation crossed over into the Gospels of the New Testament, with 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 ever have done. He lived His life, every moment of every day, in thought, word and deed without sin, to present Himself before God willingly, to pay the price for mankind’s sin and satisfy God’s wrath against sin.
By His act, mankind could now be reconciled to God, after the transgressions of Adam and Eve, entering 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. By this single act, Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Messiah from 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.
The Sixth Age ‘The Dispensation of Grace’
WILL END in Judgement – The Tribulation Period
This great Dispensation of Grace is the age we now live in and began the moment Christ died 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. After spending 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 His disciples, to empower them to preach the Gospel, perform miracles and build His Church.
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 then 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 Pharisee of the Old Law, to preaching the Gospel of Jesus in true life and freedom. He established many churches and travelled extensively around the Mediterranean, where he suffered many things, as Jesus had told him.
Finally, Paul ended up in Rome and after many years of labours, he was executed, not unlike most of the apostles of the time. However, he’d run his course, allowing Jesus full access to live His life through Paul, as well as many others, to lay a foundation of teaching and revelation, which Christians follow today. We remain in this Dispensation of Grace and Worldwide Evangelism, 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.
No one can know when this period will begin, however, we can know for sure how it will begin. The Word of God tells us, that at some point in the future, Jesus will return for His living Church and ‘The Dead in Christ,’ catching them away from this present world, to be 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, while the Trials and Tribulation Judgement takes place upon the earth. This coming season in the history of mankind, is described in frightening detail, explaining many of the events which will take place during this period. This includes the rise of the anti-christ, a one world religion, worldwide slavery and an eventual World War. At the end, the Nation of Israel will be surrounded, occupied and almost overrun by its enemies, however, Jesus will return to judge the earth, at The Throne of His Glory. This will bring an end to the Trial and Tribulation Period, with Christ laying down all rule, ushering in a time of peace.
The Seventh Age ‘The Millennial Reign of Christ’
WILL END in Judgement – The Great White Throne
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 Israelite’s) from the goats (the unbelieving) reigning on earth for the next 1000 years. Much study is involved in understanding this period from what little is given, however the Word tells us, that His Church will reign with Him and preside as judges over the earth. This period like all, will draw to a close, with the loosing of Satan once again for a short season, where he will encourage the living nations to rise up against the Lord in one final battle. However, God will destroy this army with fire, ushering in His Final Judgement Seat, The Great White Throne.
This Seat of judgement, comes at the end of the 1000 years when every unrighteous person who has ever lived, will be resurrected from Hell, to face the final judgement of God. After which sinners, satan, the anti-christ and Hell itself, will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, being eternally separated from the righteous. This will bring the close to the history of mankind, with the unrighteous in their eternal judgement and the righteous in eternal bliss in Heaven with God. This is when believers will always be with the Lord, there will be no more pain, no tears, no grief or loss and never again, will a person feel distant from God. They will be with Him for every moment of eternity.
This brief overview of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelations, shows us where the Tribulation Soldier Series finds its timeline, telling the story of the closing stages of Age Five, which we now live in, into the terrifying Sixth Age of the Trials and Tribulation Period. Midway through publication five, we’ll enter that Sixth Age and show what the Bible describes about that Tribulation, through the eyes of our characters. The events we can be sure of, but the time this begins we can’t, however God’s Word shows us in detail, what this age will be like and what will happen across the face of the earth.