The Two-Age Jewish View of Time
(Article from: christeternalchristianchurch.com)
The Bible teaches two distinct “ages” of time which are known as “this present age” and “the age to come.”
The “ages” refer to the Jewish idea of separating the time before Messiah from the time after the advent of Messiah. They thought of human history being divided up into these two ages.
The New Testament writers, and Jesus Himself, considered themselves to be living during the period of time where one age was to end (also known as the Old Covenant) and the bringing in of another age (the New Covenant). This did not mean that history was to end in their time, but that a new age (covenant) was anticipated to come in.
In the Scriptures, the two ages are contrasted against each other. “This age” is contrasted with “the age to come.” The phrase “age to come” requires that “this age” has to have an ending to it. Since the “age to come” is not said to have an end, then the expression “the last days” must apply to the end of the “this age” period or the Old Covenant. The end of the “this age” (Old Covenant) is when God’s eschatological program would be fulfilled.
What does the Jew think of the Messiah to come?
The Messianic Idea in Judaism
1. The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as “mashiach ben David” (mashiach, son of David).
2. He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5).
3. He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel.
4. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.
6. He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1).
7. He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).
Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age
The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term “messianic age” to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.
Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people (Isaiah 2:4). Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.
In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.
Did Jesus fit the Jewish ‘Expectation’ of their Coming Messiah?
Matt 24:3 “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
“What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
The disciples were asking about the Messianic Age… not the 2nd Coming and the End of the World that we have interpreted it to be. It is wrong when we impose our “Thoughts” into Scriptures.
The Disciples followed Jesus because they ‘Bet’ on Jesus as being the Messiah. The Disciples had the same expectation of the Messiah as the Jews of their days. They were expecting a Conquering King that will deliver them from the Roman’s occupation. They were expecting the ‘Glorious’ days of the Messianic Age.
The Disciples were in fact asking “When are You Manifesting Yourself as the Messiah?” “What is the sign of this Messianic Age?” They were expecting an imminent coming of the “Messianic Era” because Jesus their Messiah had came.
Jesus answered their question in Matthew 24: 4-31
“Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a]these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[b] and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’[c] spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Jesus was speaking about the Fulfillment of the Coming of the ‘Messianic Age’ in the Generation of the Disciples. Did this happened in the generation of the Disciples? Did the Destruction of the Temple and Israel ceased being a nation in AD 70 fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus?
Is the ‘Messianic Age’ here and now or is it still in the Future?
What Is Truth?
Everyone claim to hold the Truth. Everyone is right in his own eyes. Even an Atheist who claimed that there is ‘No God’ is right in his own eyes.
Everyone of us look at things from our own ‘Worldviews’, from our ‘Paradigms’, from our ‘Beliefs’, from our ‘Mindsets’. Our actions and our behaviors are the results from our ‘Beliefs’. Right ‘Beliefs’ results in Right Living; Wrong ‘Beliefs’ results in Wrong Living.
It is ‘Impossible’ for us to change another person’s Beliefs … he, himself must change it. We can argue with the person till the ‘cows come home’ and yet the person still thinks that he holds the truth.
So, it is no point getting angry, getting frustrated in seeking to change a person’s point of view. Your job is just to share the ‘Truth’ and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. Don’t play the role of the Holy Spirit.
6 Blind Men each describing what an elephant looks like. One blind man says the elephant is like a rope … because his is touching the tail of the elephant. Another said that the elephant is like a tree … because holds the feet of the elephant. Yet another said the elephant is a brick wall … because he touched the body of the elephant.
Who is telling the ‘Truth’ about the elephant?
None of them! They are all Blind Men. It takes a man who sees to describe correctly what an elephant looks like.
The Apostle Paul before his encounter with Jesus was a persecutor of the Church. He was fully convinced that he was upholding the ‘Truth’ and the Christians were wrong in their ‘Belief’. It took an Encounter with Jesus for him to have a Paradigm Shift.
I am in a Journey of Re-looking and Re-examining ‘What I Believe’. So far, it has been an interesting journey. What have been passed down through the centuries … may not be ‘Gospel Truth’. What the majority holds as ‘Truth’ … may not be ‘Truth’.
I am pursuing after God. I am pursuing after Truth.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
I am not questioning the Authority of Scriptures
I am re-looking at the Interpretation of Scriptures that have passed down to me as ‘Gospel Truths’.
Believing in Lies will keep you in Bondage
Believing in Truths will set you Free!
Let Your “Fingers” Do Your Christmas Shopping Today … It’s as Easy as ABC.