Saturday, November 6, 2010

2012: The Start of a New Age?

Matthew 24:3-8, NASB (Caps supplied for emphasis).

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the END OF THE AGE?"

4And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.
5"For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
6"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
7"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
8"But all these things are merely the BEGINNING OF BIRTH PANGS.

The age-old question for over two thousand years has been, "When will Jesus return and when will the world come to an end?"  This question was asked by Jesus' own disciples as they sat upon the Mt. of Olives overlooking Jerusalem.  Naturally, they would have liked to know when He was coming back, especially since He left some unfinished business such as the restoration of the nation of Israel to a independent theocracy, free of Roman rule, undone.  In the prophetic timeline of Matthew 24, Jesus led them through a series of events which must take place before He returned.  It should be noted that the return of Christ was contingent upon the end of an old age, and the beginning of a new age.  No, this is not new age teaching, but 100% Biblical stuff here folks.  Many Bibles translate the Greek word "aion" to mean "world", but the word actually means "age" (Strong #165).  So the disciples were not asking Jesus about the end of the world, but about the end of the age they were living in.

What age were the disciples living in?  When was it supposed to have ended, and what age was to supposed to have gotten started?  When that new age ended, and was there supposed to be another age after that?  To answer those questions, one must understand something about time charting based upon astrological/astronomical signs.  Astronomy and astrology were a big part of Jewish culture.  Signs in the sky were important factors in prophecy as omens of impending changes upon the world scene.  In Genesis 1:14  it says that God gave us the celestial bodies in the heavens for signs.  "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons, and for days, and years." The knowledge therefore as to how these celestial bodies act as sign posts is definitely essential for understanding time,  and God's timing for doing certain things upon the earth.  Before I go any further, let me just clarify the major difference between astrology and astronomy, because I will be using some astrological time concepts.  Astrology is the study of stars and celestial bodies, and the reading of omens, with the purpose of studying the effect of the stars on the social/economic/political conditions on earth.  This also implies a worship of the stars and planets as rulers over mankind.  Astronomy is the study of stars and celestial bodies without any implication of worship of those celestial bodies.  The sages of old practiced a form of astrology where God was recognized as the ruler of the stars and celestial bodies, who used the stars and heavenly bodies to warn us as to WHEN certain prophecies were to be fulfilled.  Hence we have the prophecy of Balaam about the star of Jacob, and the wise men from the east following a star to see the Christ child (Numbers 24:17, Matthew 2:2).  We see in the book of Isaiah where God turned back the course of the sun for king Hezekiah, as a SIGN of sure victory over the king of Assyria (Isaiah 38:4-8).  The Bible is replete with references to celestial bodies, as they are not up there for our entertaiment  and worship, but as signs from God to us.  We have Joseph dreaming about "the eleven stars" with himself being the twelfth star, which is probably an allusion to the twelve signs of the Zodiac or the planets, and the book of Job is filled with lots of references to constellations and stars (Genesis 37:6-10; Job 38:31-33).  Even Jesus spoke about watching the signs of the sun and moon to know when His appearance is near.

Matthew 24:25-27 (caps supplied for emphasis)

25And there shall be SIGNS IN THE SUN, AND IN THE MOON, AND IN THE STARS; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

So how long is an age?  According to astrologists, an age is approximately 2,160 years.  Personally, I am not sure of the name of the age in which the disciples lived because even astrologers disagree among themselves as to when certain ages started and ended.  We however need not be confused as the Bible has given us clear guidelines as to when the age to which the disciples were referring was to end.  Jesus tells us very plainly in Matthew 24:7-8 that the new age will start when nations start rising against nations, with famines in various places and earthquakes.
7"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.

8"But all these things are merely the BEGINNING OF BIRTH PANGS.

Have we not seen, since Christ left the earth even more calamities and wars between nations than ever before?  Starting with the Great Jewish rebellion in AD 66, the destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70 by the Romans, the Roman conquest of Western and Eastern Europe as well as North Africa, the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Empire, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Colonialism and world wide slave trade, World War I and II, global wars against terrorism, and so on.  What about the earthquakes and calamities we experienced quick succession in this year 2010?  What about the shift of the earth on its axis after the Chilean earthquake this year?  What about the global economic crisis and the shift to global finance and a world economy that is taking place?  Expect more paragdigm shifts as we approach the end of the age in the political, social, economic, and religious realms as well as in nature.

Most astrologers agree that we are living in the age of Pisces.  The Age of Pisces is set to end in the year 2150, but that is disputable as the Mayan calendar places the end of the our present age in 2012.  So you see, this is all so confusing as even astrologers cannot agree among themselves, but one thing is certain.  This age will end and a new age will be ushered in.  Will it be an age of peace, brotherhood, and Christ consciousness?  Or will it be a new age of clashing spiritual battles between religons?  I think a little of both will be seen.  With the spread of the gospel around the world, more people of various religious backgrounds will develop a sense of love for Christ, give their lives to Christ,  and Christ consciousness will increase around the world.  With that will also come rivalry from those who feel threatened by the rise of Christ consciousness, and the battle lines will be drawn over religion.  This new age will be the one that will take us to the second coming of Christ!  Are you ready for it?

ADDENDUM (10/8/11):  I tend to go with the idea that the disciples lived in the age of Aries (the ram).   Why do I believe that?  Based upon Biblical markers, and Jesus' own words that His generation would live to see the end of the age, tells me that a new age started in the time of the disciples/apostles, with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD (Matthew 24:1,2,34).  The new age which began, was the age of Pisces (the fish), and Aries was the preceding age to Pisces.  I have other  Biblical markers as well which seem to verify this, but I am open to other points of view. 


Melissa said...

they lived in the age of Pisces, the fish, put that together with "christianity"....we are heading into Aquarius

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Well said Melissa! You got it! :-)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I tend to go along with the disciples living in the age of Aries, the ram, ending in AD 70 according to my calculations and Biblical markers, but I may be wrong. I place the beginning of Pisces in AD 70 to even now the present time. The next age is definitely Aquarius and is just around the corner. Exciting stuff!