Thy Kingdom Come – Present Age Prophecies (Part 1)

I. Article Title. Thy Kingdom Come – Present Age Prophecies (Part 1).

II. Article References.

 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D. (1871-1952). J. Vernon McGee, Th. D. (1904-1988). Merrill F. Unger, Ph. D. (1909-1980). Charles L. Feinberg, Ph. D. (1909-1995). John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (1910-2002). J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (1915-2014). Charles C. Ryrie, Ph. D. (1925-2016). Robert L. Thomas, Th. D. (1928-2017). Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. (1928-2017). Robert P. Lightner, Th. D. (1931-2018). Harold W. Hoehner, Ph. D. (1935-2009). Thomas S. McCall, Th. D. (1936-2021). Edward E. Hindson, Ph. D. (1944-2022).

III. Article Narrative – The Present Age Course.

A. God’s Program For The Ages.

1. Any individual who refers to the Scriptures as the Old and New Testaments bears witness to the fact that God has divided His program into time segments. The history of revelation evidences the progress of divine revelation through successive ages. Chafer sets forth this program as he writes:

a. The dispensational study of the Bible consists in the identification of certain
well-defined time-periods which are divinely indicated, together with the revealed purpose of God relative to each.

b. The unrestrained, sovereign purpose of God is seen in the ordering of the
succession of the ages. That God has a program of the ages is disclosed in many
passages (cf. Deut. 30:1-10; Dan. 2:31-45; 7:1-28; 9:24-27; Hos. 3:4, 5; Matt. 23:37—25:46; Acts 15:13-18; Rom. 11:13-29; 2 Thess. 3:1-12; Rev. 2:1—22:31). Likewise, there are well-defined periods of time related to the divine purpose. The Apostle Paul writes of the period between Adam and Moses (Rom. 5:14); John speaks of the law as given by Moses, but of grace and truth as coming by Christ (John 1:17). Christ also speaks of the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24), which are evidently to be distinguished from Jewish “times and seasons” (Acts 1:7; 1 Thess. 5:1). Likewise, He spoke of a hitherto unannounced period between His two advents and indicated its distinctive features (Matt. 13: 1-51), and predicted a yet future time of “great tribulation” and defined its character (Matt. 24:9-31). There are “last days” for Israel (Isa. 2:1-5) as well as “last days” for the Church (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The Apostle John anticipates a period of one thousand years and relates this to the reign of Christ, at which time the Church, His bride, will reign with Him (Rev. 20:1-6). That Christ will sit on the throne of David and reign over the house of Jacob forever is declared by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:31-33), and that there will be an ever abiding new heaven and new earth is as clearly revealed (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). In Hebrews 1:1, 2 sharp contrast is drawn between “time past” when God spoke to the fathers by the prophets and “these last days” when He is speaking unto us by His son. Similarly, it is clearly disclosed that there are ages past (Eph. 3:5; Col. 1:26), the present age (Rom. 12:2; Gal. 1:4) and the age, or ages, to come (Eph. 2:7; Heb. 6:5; note Eph. 1:10, where the future age is termed the dispensation…of the fullness…of times.

2. As one turns, then, to this present age, he is examining only one portion of the eternal program of God.

C . The relation of Christ to the ages. An examination of passages in the New
Testament that make reference to the program of the ages will show us that Christ is the very center of that program. In Hebrews 1:2 He is said to be the one on whose account the ages were ordered. 2 In 1 Timothy 1:17 Christ is related to the program of the ages, where He is called the “king of the ages.” In Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Corinthians 10:11 the ages are seen to center in His cross work for the sins of the world. This very work was planned before the ages began, 1 Cor 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2, and in past ages that which is now known was not revealed, Romans 16:25. Thus the ages are the time periods within which God is revealing His divine purpose and program as it centers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

D. The use of age in the New Testament. The word aiōn (age), frequently translated world, is essentially a time word. Abbott-Smith defines it thus:

1.…a space of time, as, a life, a generation, period of history, an indefinitely
long period; in NT of an indefinitely long period, an age, eternity.

2.…the sum of the periods of time, including all that is manifested in them.

E. While kosmos (world) refers to the ordered universe, the scheme of material things, and oikoumenē (world) refers to the inhabited earth, this word aiōn (world) views the world under the aspect of time. There are occasions when it seems to be synonymous with oikoumenē, and to be used of the inhabited earth, as in Titus 2:12. Again, on occasion, it seems to be used synonymously with kosmos, to refer to the organized system under the domination of Satan, as in 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12 and 2 Timothy 4:10. When it is so used it has the same ethical connotation as kosmos, which Abbott-Smith says is used “in ethical sense, of the ungodly, the world as apart from God and thus evil in its tendency:” Jo 7:7, 14:17, 27, 1 Co 1:21, Ja 1:27, 1 Jo 4:4.

F. Aiōn is frequently used in the sense of eternity, the sum total of all the ages (Matt. 6:13; Luke 1:33, 55; John 6:51, 58; 8:35; 12:34; Rom. 9:5; 11:36; 2 Cor. 9:9; Phil. 4:20; Heb. 7:17, 21; 1 Pet. 1:25; Rev. 15:7 are but a few). It is also used frequently in regard to the separate ages of God’s dealing with men. When so used it may refer to a past age, the present age, or a coming age.

1. There is reference to a present age for Israel in Matthew 12:32 and Mark 4:19, and also to a future age for Israel in Matthew 12:32; 13:39-40; 24:3; Mark 10:30; and Luke 18:30; 20:35. In regard to the program for the church there is also a reference to this present age in 1 Corinthians 1:20; Galatians 1:4, and to a future age in Ephesians 1:21. In the use of these terms present age and future age it should be borne in mind that their connotation may not always be the same.

2.The present age for the church, spoken of by Paul, is not the same as the present age for Israel, spoken of by Christ. Nor is the expectation in the future age for the church the same as that for Israel. In order to determine the usages of these terms one must clearly define the scope of the passage and those to whom it is addressed. Confusion has resulted from a failure to see this distinction.

G. As it is used in the New Testament, according to the normal usage of the words, this present age refers to that period of time in which the speaker or writer then lived. As used in reference to Israel in the Gospels this present age referred to the period of time in which Israel was anticipating the coming of the Messiah to fulfill all her covenant promises. The coming age was the age to be inaugurated by the Messiah at His advent. In reference to the church the term “this present age” refers to the inter-advent period, that period from the rejection of the Messiah by Israel to the coming reception of the Messiah by Israel at His second coming. The phrase the coming age could be used in its earthly aspect, to which the church will be related (as in Eph. 1:21), or in its eternal aspect (as in Eph. 2:7).

H. According to the New Testament “this present age” has an unwholesome
designation. It is called “an evil age” (Gal. 1:4). It is so called because it is under the dominion of Satan, who is its “God” (2 Cor. 4:4). This age is marked by spiritual “darkness” (Eph. 6:12). This darkness produces its own wisdom, in which there is no light (1 Cor. 2:6-7). As a result it is marked by “ungodliness” and “lusts” (Titus 2:12), from which the believer is to turn away (Rom. 12:2), even though formerly he walked in conformity to its wisdom and standards (Eph. 2:2).

I. The distinction between this present age and the preceding ages. There are a number of ways in which this present age differs from all the ages that preceded.

(a) In all previous ages Christ was anticipated, but in this present age He has not only come, but has died, been resurrected and is looked to now, in His position, at the right hand of the Father. (b) The Holy Spirit, who in previous ages came upon certain men to empower them to a given task, has taken up His residence in every believer. (c) In previous ages the good news announced was anticipatory, but in this present age the declaration of the good news announces an accomplished salvation through Christ. (d) The revelation in previous ages was incomplete, but in this present age, since Christ came to reveal the Father, revelation is completed. (e) Since this present age is marked
by antagonism to God and His anointed, it bears a distinct characterization as an evil age, which was not applied to any previous age. (f) This age is, consequently, under the domination of Satan, its god, in a unique and unprecedented way. (g) The nation Israel has been set aside as the particular object of God’s dealing and can not expect the fulfillment of her promises during this age. These seven distinctions establish the fact that this present age is distinct from all preceding ages.

IV. Article Narrative – God’s Purpose For The Present Age. The Old Testament age, in which the purpose of God for Israel is stated in the covenants into which God entered and by which He is bound, closes with those purposes unrealized.

A. After the death of Christ, God instituted a new divine program, not to replace the program for Israel, but to interrupt that divinely covenanted program. This new program is anticipated by the Lord in His upper room discourse in John thirteen to sixteen and becomes actual after the advent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Jerusalem council (Acts 15:14) announced that “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” The “taking out of a people” thus constitutes God’s present-age program. This people constitutes the church, the body of which He is the head (Eph. 1:22-23), the bride of which He is the bridegroom (Eph. 5:25-27, 32), the branch of which He is the supporting vine (John 15:1), the flock of which He is the Shepherd (John 10:7-27), the temple of which He is the cornerstone
(Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:5), the ministering priests of which He is the high priest (1 Pet. 2:5-9), the new creation of which He is the head and the first fruits (1 Cor. 15:45). The reason for this calling out is stated in Ephesians 2:7, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ.” The divine purpose in the outcalling of the church is to display the infinity of His grace. Chafer writes:

1. There was that in God which no created being had ever seen. They had seen
His glory, His majesty, His wisdom, and His power; but no angel or man had ever seen His grace.

2. Other attributes might be subject to a variety of demonstrations; but the manifestation of grace is restricted to what God may do for those among men who, in spite of the fact that they deserve His judgments, are objects of His grace.

3. As every other attribute or capacity of God must have its perfect exercise and exhibition—even for His own satisfaction—in like manner, His grace must also have its infinitely perfect revealing within the restricted undertaking by which He saves the lost.

4. To say that a sinner is saved by grace is to declare that, on the ground of a Substitute’s death and in response to faith in that Savior, God has wrought a work so perfect in its entirety and so free from the cooperation of other beings that it is a complete all-satisfying-to-God demonstration of His grace.

5. A statement of this kind may be made as easily as words form a sentence; but who on earth or in heaven is able to comprehend the infinity of such a salvation?

B. This demonstration, it should be added, will, by the very nature of the case, have its outshining in the life of each individual thus saved. It would seem, then, that God, in this present age, is pursuing a program through which His infinite grace shall be perfectly displayed throughout all eternity.

V. Article Narrative – The Character Of This Present Age.

A. This present age, dating from the rejection of the Messiah by Israel unto the
coming reception of the Messiah by Israel at His second advent, is viewed in Scripture as a mystery. Consider the following writing of the Apostle Paul:

1. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of
the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:24-27).]

2. In this passage the apostle Paul very clearly calls the divine program developed in the church “a mystery,” something which was not formerly revealed, and therefore unknown, but now is made known by God. With this teaching other Scripture is in agreement (Rom. 16:25-26; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:5-9).

B. While the modern usage of the word relates a mystery to that which is mysterious or unknown, Scripture uses the word for that divine purpose or program of God, known to Him from eternity, but which could not and would not have been known unless it was revealed by God; unknown in other ages, but now known by revelation. Mysteries are sacred secrets, hitherto unknown, but now known by revelation. In the twenty-seven New Testament usages of the word mystery (excluding 1 Corinthians 2:7, where the marginal reading is preferred), it will be observed that the body of truth referred to as a mystery is particular truth related to this present age. These mysteries comprise the added revelation given concerning this present age, which supplements the Old Testament revelation. Chafer, commenting on Ephesians 3:5, writes:

1. No better definition of a New Testament mystery will be found than that set
forth in this context. A New Testament mystery is a truth hitherto withheld, or “hid in God” (vs. 9), but now revealed. The sum total of all the mysteries in the New Testament represents that entire body of added truth found in the New Testament which is unrevealed in the Old Testament. On the other hand, the New Testament mystery is to be distinguished from the mystery of the cults of Babylon and Rome, whose secrets were sealed and held on penalty of death; for the New Testament mystery, when it is revealed, is to be declared to the ends of the earth (vs. 9), and is restricted only to the extent of the limitation of the natural man (I Cor. 2:14).

2. The existence of this present age, which was to interrupt God’s established program with Israel, was a mystery (Matt. 13:11). That Israel was to be blinded so that Gentiles might be brought into relation to God was a mystery (Rom. 11:25). The formulation of the church, made up of Jews and Gentiles to form a body, was a mystery (Eph. 3:3-9; Col. 1:26-27; Eph. 1:9; Rom. 16:25).

3. This whole program of God that results in salvation was called a mystery (1 Cor. 2:7). The relation of Christ to men in redemption was called a mystery (Col. 2:2; 4:3). The incarnation itself is called a mystery (1 Tim. 3:16), not as to fact but as to its accomplishment. The development of evil unto its culmination in the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:7) and the development of the great apostate religious system (Rev. 17:5, 7) both constitute that which was called a mystery. That there should be a new method by which God received men into His presence apart from death was a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51). These, then, constitute a major portion of God’s program for the present age, which was not revealed in other ages, but is now known by revelation from God.

4. The existence of an entirely new age, which only interrupts temporarily God’s program for Israel, is one of our strongest arguments for the premillennial position. It is necessary for one who rejects that interpretation to prove that the church itself is the consummation of God’s program.

5. Paul then is explaining, not limiting, the mystery there set forth. The concept must stand that this whole age with its program was not revealed in the Old Testament, but constitutes a new program and new line of revelation in this present age. It has been illustrated how this whole age existed in the mind of God without having been revealed in the Old Testament.

6. There are many places in Scripture in which this passing over of the present
Dispensation is very plainly evident; and where, in our reading, we have, like our Lord, to “close the book.” If we fail to do this, and if we refuse to notice these socalled “gaps,” we cannot possibly understand the Scriptures which we read. We give a few by way of example, placing this mark (—) to indicate the
parenthesis of this present Dispensation, which comes between the previous
Dispensation of Law, and the next Dispensation of Judgment which is to follow this Present Dispensation of Grace. Consider the following verses.

a. Ps. cxviii. 22, “The stone which the builders refused (—) is become the headstone of the corner.” b. Isa. ix. 6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: (—) and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Compare Luke 1, 31, 32.) c. Isa. liii. 10, 11, “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin (—) he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” d. Zech. ix. 9, 10, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation: lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (—) And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” e. Luke i. 31, 32, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. (—) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.

7. Allowance was thus made for this present age, without its actual existence ever having been specifically revealed in the Old Testament. The times of the Church are not properly a part of the fifth dispensation, but a parenthesis fixed in it on account of the perversity of the Jews; an inserted period, unknown to Old Testament prophecy, and set apart for the preparation of a heavenly, and not an earthly people.

VI . Article Considerations.

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, “public domain,” is to be considered.

B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary; I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.


Author: Equipping

You may contact me by emailing me on my site's email address, as follows: The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible..

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