Lesson 18

The End of That Age

" . . . so that the world of that time was destroyed
by being flooded by water."
2 Peter 3:6 (The Jerusalem Bible)

People die and people are born, but the earth lasts forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4). God had a reason for creating the earth—he formed it for mankind to live on forever (Isaiah 45:18). The wicked ones were destroyed in the flood but the planet earth remained. The flood water settled into lakes and rivers, and dry land was again visible. The First Dispensation was ended and another age had begun.

The First Dispensation lasted from the time of Adam’s creation to the beginning of the flood—a period of 1656 years. During that time the angels watched over mankind, but they brought so much wickedness to the world that God would not let them continue.

The Second Dispensation is known as the "present evil world." It is divided into the Patriarchal, Jewish, and Gospel Ages.

After the flood ended the Patriarchal Age began. It lasted until the death of Jacob. At that time God’s dealings and favors were only with a few individuals. Some of these were Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The patriarchs were counted (or reckoned) perfect because of their faith in God and not because they were actually perfect as Adam had been.

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel—his twelve sons and their families became the tribes of Israel. At his death, the Jewish Age began when God would deal with the Jews (Israelites) only.

The Gospel Age started with the first advent of Jesus. When its work is complete the Millennial Age will begin, which also starts the Third Dispensation—the ages to come.

God’s plan of the ages develops slowly, but very surely it will come to pass. The earth will be made glorious and restored to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary.

Calvary was a hill not far from the walls of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried. The word calvary means skull. Since the hill was shaped like a skull, the name was very suitable.

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