Note: Our ministry (Straight Christianity) does not hold to
all of Clarence Larkin's views but we post this to
show some earlier dispensational views which are interesting.
Ages and Dispensations
By Clarence Larkin
Reference to the Chart, “The Ages and Dispensations,” above, will reveal the fact that outside of “Time” the Scriptures mention “Two Ages.” Before “Time” the “ALPHA” or “CREATIVE AGES,” and after “Time” the “OMEGA,” or “AGES OF THE AGES.” In “Time” there are three “Ages” and eight. “Dispensations.” The “Ages” are –
1. THE ANTEDILUVIAN AGE.
2. THE PRESENT AGE.
3. THE AGE OF AGES.
The “Third Age” is a “Dual Age,” composed of the “Millennial Age” and the “Perfect Age.”
The “Dispensations” are –
1. THE EDENIC.
2. THE ANTE-DILUVIAN.
3. THE POST-DILUVIAN.
4. THE PATRIARCHAL.
5. THE LEGAL.
6. THE ECCLESIASTICAL.
7. THE MESSIANIC.
8. THE DISPENSATION OF THE “FULNESS OF TIMES.”
The difference between an “Age” and a “Dispensation” is, that an “Age” stands for a period between two great physical changes in the earth’s surface, while a “Dispensation” stands for a “moral” or “probationary” period in the world’s history. For illustration the “Present Age” began with “The Flood,” and ends with the return of Christ to the Mount of Olives. “The Flood” caused such physical and climatic changes that the length of human life was reduced from 900 to 100 years; all this will be reversed when Christ comes back, when the whole contour of the Land of Palestine will be changed (Zechariah 14:4-10. Ezekiel 47:1-12), and men shall live again for upwards of 1000 years. Isaiah 65:20. While the Dispensations are probationary periods, the form of “Administration” is different and progressive in each “Dispensation.” For illustration, the Administration of the “Legal Dispensation” was that of “LAW,” of the “Present Dispensation” is “GRACE,” and of the one to follow is“RIGHTEOUSNESS.
I. THE CREATIVE AGES
The Scriptures begin with the sublime declaration –
"In the beginning God ‘CREATED’ the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.
As the word “heaven” is in the singular it will clarify matters to limit this creative act to our own planet, and the solar system to which it belongs, rather than to the whole of the starry spaces or universe.
1. THE ORIGINAL OR PRE-ADAMITE EARTH
This creation was in the dateless past. The six days’ work as described in Genesis 1:3-31 was therestoration of the earth to its original condition before it was made “formless and void” and submerged in water and darkness.
Peter speaks of it as the “World that then was, that being overflowed with water, perished.” 2 Peter 3:5-7. See Chart. “The Three Stages of the Earth,” page 16.
The manner of the creation of the “Pre-Adamite Earth” is not revealed in the Scriptures. They simply declare that—“In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth.” And in that statement we have all the Millenniums of time that science may require for the formation of the earth as a planet. See the Chart on “The Prophetic Earth,” page 18.
2. THE CHAOTIC EARTH
The “Original Earth” was doubtless a most beautiful earth, covered with vegetation and inhabited with fish, fowl and animal life, and probably with human life. How long it continued in this condition we are not told, but an awful catastrophe befell it, it became “FORMLESS AND VOID,” and submerged in water and darkness. Genesis 1:2. That it was not originally so we know from Isaiah 45:18. “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; he is God; that formed the earth and made it;
He established it. He created it NOT A WASTE, He formed it to be inhabited.” What caused the earth to become a “Waste” after its original creation is not clearly revealed. It is clear from the account of the Fall of Adam and Eve that sin existed before man was created. The inference is that Satan and his angels were in charge of the Pre-Adamite Earth, that they rebelled, and by rebellion brought destruction on the Pre-Adamite Earth and its inhabitants, and for their sin were excluded from Heaven, and now occupy the “Heavenlies,” and that they are the “Principalities and Powers” over which Satan rules and of whom we are warned in Ephesians 6:12.
The manner in which the Pre-Adamite Earth was made “formless and void,” and this refers only to the exterior surface, the habitableness of the earth, is clearly revealed by Peter, where he says –
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, BEING OVERFLOWED WITH WATER, perished.” 2 Peter 3:5-6.
It is clear that Peter does not refer here to Noah’s Flood, for the world of Noah’s day did not perish, and Peter goes on to add that –
“The heavens and the earth which are now (that is, have been in existence since the restoration of the earth of Genesis 1:3-31), by the same word are kept in” store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15.) 2 Peter 3:7
The manner then in which the Pre-Adamite Earth was made “formless and void” was by WATER. Violent convulsions must have wrecked the Pre-Adamite Earth and covered its surface with the waters of its oceans. Not a living creature remained alive upon it, and its atmosphere of murky darkness hid the light of the sun, moon and stars. To all intents and purposes it was a dead planet, though the seeds of its vegetable life remained entombed in its bosom ready to spring into resurrection life. The absence of the warm rays of the sun caused the earth to pass through the “Winter” of its life, and the submerging waters were congealed into ice that preserved in “COLD STORAGE” the remains of immense quadrupeds and winged creatures, that we might know the kind of animal life that inhabited the PreAdamite Earth. This was probably the Glacial Period of Geologic Times. The Prophet Jeremiah records a vision of the time:
“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was WITHOUT FORM AND VOID; and the heavens, and they had NO LIGHT. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they TREMBLED, and all the hillsMOVED LIGHTLY. I beheld, and, lo, there was NO MAN, and all the BIRDS OF THE HEAVENS WERE FLED. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a WILDERNESS, and all the CITIES thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger.” Jeremiah 4:23-26.
If this was, as it appears, an account of the destruction of the Pre-Adamite Earth, then the Pre-Adamite Earth was inhabited, and its inhabitants dwelt in cities, and God’s purpose in destroying the Pre-Adamite Earth was to efface all historic monuments and evidences of the sinfulness of its occupants.
How long a period elapsed between the creation of the earth and its becoming “formless and void” we do not know; neither do we know how long it continued in that condition, but when the time came in the purpose of God to restore the earth to its habitable state, and make it fit for the abode of man, He did it in six periods., of longer or shorter duration. The Hebrew word translated “day” may mean either a day of 24 hours or a longer period of time. The probability is that the time was short.
3. THE PRESENT EARTH
The six days’ work as described in Genesis 1:3-31 is not a description of how God made the “Original Earth,” but how He restored it from its “formless and void” condition to its present state. He began by reversing the process He took to make it uninhabitable. He said “Let there be Light,” Genesis 1:2-5. The light was not sunlight, that did not appear until the “Fourth Day.” It was doubtless “Electric Light,” the incandescence of which dispelled the gloom and generated enough heat to melt the icy covering of the earth and form water. Thus the earth passed out of the “Night” of its history into the morning of its “Resurrection Day.”
The “Second Day’s” work was the Readjustment of the “Atmosphere” to the needs of the present earth. Genesis 1:6-8. It is worthy of note that God does not say of this Day’s work that it was GOOD, as He did of the work of the other days. This may not be without significance, for we read in Ephesians 2:2 of the “Powers of the AIR” over whom Satan is the Prince, and it may have been that as soon as the atmosphere of the earth again became habitable the “Powers of Evil” swarmed into it. Ephesians 6:12.
The work of the “Third Day” was twofold, the emergence of the land from the sea, and the reappearance of vegetable life. Genesis 1:9-13. This was not a new creation, but a RESURRECTION. The earth rises up from its “Watery Grave,” and seeds, and the roots of plants and herbs and trees that were in the earth sprang into life as they do in the spring of the year after the winter is over. This reveals the fact that the Pre-Adamite Earth was clothed with verdure, and covered with plants and trees like those of the Present Earth.
The work of the “Fourth Day” was the re-appearance of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Genesis 1:14-19. They were not created on the “Fourth Day.” They had shone on the Pre-Adamite Earth, but the cloudy atmosphere of the restored earth hid them from view until the “Fourth Day,” when the clouds broke away and permitted them to shine on the earth, and from that time they were appointed to mark the days, months, and years, of the Present Earth.
The work of the “Fifth Day” was the CREATION of fish and fowl. Genesis 1:20-23. Here is the first time we come across the word “CREATE” since we read of the original creation of the earth in verse one. This shows that all animal life was destroyed in the catastrophe that overtook the Pre-Adamite Earth. The fish and fowl that were created on the “Fifth Day” were the same that we have today. The fossil remains of huge marine animals and gigantic birds belong to the Pre-Adamite Earth.
The creative work of the “Sixth Day” was twofold, that of land animals and of man. Genesis 1:24-28.
These land animals were doubtless the same kind as we have today. The fact that they were created,
“AFTER THEIR KIND,
which is 5 times repeated, shows that they were not “evolved” from one common species. That all the different species of animals were created “separately” is proven from the fact that when species are crossed their offspring are sterile. The crossing of the jackass and a mare is the mule, and a mule is a hybrid and is sterile. If the “Evolutionary Theory” of the development of animal and vegetable life was true, we should expect to find evidence to that effect in fossil remains of the intermediate links, and we should also see “evolutionary processes” at work now whereby higher orders of animal and plant life are coming into being. But we see nothing of the kind. Animal and plant life exists today in the same form that it has existed in the knowledge of man. The birds build their nests and raise their young as they always did. The beaver builds his dam, and the bee constructs his honeycomb as they have always done. Man alone has the faculty of improving his mode of construction. This is seen in the development of farming instruments from the crude plow and winnowing fan to the complex plow and cultivator, and the combined reaper, binder, and thresher. But here we can trace the various steps by the obsolete specimens of farming implements. This is not true in the animal and vegetable kingdoms for there we find no intermediary links. If the Evolutionary Theory is correct, it should apply to man as well as animals, and we should see by the crossing of the best specimens of the human race the evolution of aSUPERMAN, but the history of the race disproves this.
... and we should also see “evolutionary processes” at work now whereby higher orders of animal and plant life are coming into being. But we see nothing of the kind. Animal and plant life exists today in the same form that it has existed in the knowledge of man. The birds build their nests and raise their young as they always did. The beaver builds his dam, and the bee constructs his honeycomb as they have always done. Man alone has the faculty of improving his mode of construction. This is seen in the development of farming instruments from the crude plow and winnowing fan to the complex plow and cultivator, and the combined reaper, binder, and thresher. But here we can trace the various steps by the obsolete specimens of farming implements. This is not true in the animal and vegetable kingdoms for there we find no intermediary links. If the Evolutionary Theory is correct, it should apply to man as well as animals, and we should see by the crossing of the best specimens of the human race the evolution of a SUPERMAN, but the history of the race disproves this.
That man was CREATED (Bara) A MAN shows that he has not descended from an “ape.” Man was made in the “IMAGE OF GOD,” not in the image of an ape. and was not formed from a brute but of the “Dust of the Earth.” While Adam and Eve were not both fashioned in the same way, Eve being “builded” from a rib taken out of Adam (Genesis 2:21-23), they were not evolved from some lower creature, but were both direct creations of God, “male and female CREATED He them.” Genesis 1:27.
On the “Seventh Day” of the “Restoration Week” God rested. Genesis 2:2-3. He rested because His work was finished. That is the only justifiable reason for resting. He rested because His work was not only finished but was GOOD. There could be no reflection on it. But when God’s perfect work was marred by sin, by the “Fall of Man,” His “Sabbath Rest” was broken, and He had to resume work for the purpose of the redemption of man that he might become a “NEW CREATION” in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
II. THE ANTE-DILUVIAN AGE
This extends from-the restoration of the earth from its “chaotic” condition to the Flood. It is divided into two “Dispensations.”
1. The Edenic Dispensation
This Dispensation extends from the creation of Adam to the Expulsion from the Garden. As to its duration we know nothing. It was probably very short, and was the “Dispensation of INNOCENCE.” For an account of “The Fall” see the chapter on “The Two Adams.”
2. The Ante-Diluvian Dispensation
This extends from the “Fall” to the “Flood.” It was the “Dispensation of CONSCIENCE,” and shows what man will do when guided only by his conscience. Adam and Eve had no conscience before the “Fall.” Conscience is a knowledge of “Good” and “Evil,” and this Adam and Eve did not have until they had their eyes opened by eating of the “Fruit” of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Genesis 2:17. Conscience may produce fear and remorse, but it will not keep men from doing wrong, for conscience imparts no “POWER.”
Adam and Eve had no children before the “Fall.” That they were created for that purpose is clear from the words God spake to them after their creation, when He said—“Be fruitful and multiply and REPLENISH THE EARTH.” Genesis 1:28. In the words “Replenish the Earth” we have unmistakable evidence that the earth had been peopled before it was thrown into a chaotic condition.
How soon after the “Expulsion” from the Garden the first child was born to Adam and Eve we are not told. It probably was not very long. The first child was a son, Cain. It does not follow that Abel was the second child. There may have been a number of children, both sons and daughters, born between Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel are “Representative Men,” one of the wicked line, and the other of the righteous line from Adam. There is an intimation in the curse imposed on Eve— ‘’I will greatlymultiply thy conception” (Genesis 3:16), that births were not only frequent, but that several children were born at a time. In no other way could the human race multiply as it did in those early days, and for some time after the Flood. Intermarriages among the children of the same family were not forbidden until after the Flood.
Cain and Abel were not children when Cain killed Abel. They were probably over 100 years of age. Abel was a “keeper of sheep,” not his father’s but his own. Cain was an agriculturist and the possessor of large estates. We read that Adam was 130 years old when he begat Seth. Genesis 5:3. Seth was probably born soon after the death of Abel. Genesis 4:25. This would make Abel over 100 years of age at his death.
The death of Abel was probably due to a religious dispute between Cain and Abel as to the character of religious offerings. Abel claimed that a “Bloody Sacrifice” was necessary, Cain claimed that an offering of “Works” taken from the soil which God had cursed was sufficient. They put the matter to a test. God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s, probably answering as on Mount Carmel by fire. This angered Cain. He did not kill Abel that day. The Lord remonstrated with Cain and reminded him that there was still time to bring a “SIN (blood) OFFERING.” The expression “sin lieth at the door” (Genesis 4:7), may be translated a “sin offering lieth at the door.” But Cain would not listen and nursed his anger, possibly for a long time. One day while alone in the field with Abel, Cain brought the subject up again, for we read that Cain “talked with Abel” about the matter (Genesis 4:8), and Cain’s anger became uncontrollable and he arose from the ground where he was sitting and killed his brother. The whole thing was a scheme of Satan to destroy Abel, through whom the “Promised Seed” was to come. Satan was not only the instigator of Abel’s murder, he was the author of “Cain’s Religion,” spoken of by Jude as “THE WAY OF CAIN” (Jude 11). Here we have the origin of all religions that ignore the BLOOD and magnify WORKS.
Cain fled to the land of Nod and built a city. Here we have the beginning of the city with all its attendant evils. Among the descendants of Cain was Jubal, the inventor of musical instruments, and Tubal-Cain, an instructor of workers in brass and iron. Men in those days used their brains to improve and upbuild a “Godless Civilization,” and when we recall that in that Age men were not cut off at threescore and ten, but lived on for nearly a 1000 years, their immense accumulation of knowledge, experience, and skill, must have advanced the Arts and Sciences and resulted in the invention and manufacture of all the appliances of a luxurious civilization, with a rapidity to us almost inconceivable. The building of such a ship as the Ark constructed by Noah is an illustration. We have the echo of that skilled civilization in the construction, after the Flood, of the Tower of Babel, and later of the Great Pyramid, which involved, in its construction, such a knowledge of mathematics and astronomy as the world has never as yet surpassed*. (*For a description of the Great Pyramid with its Dispensational teaching see my larger work on “Dispensational Truth.” )
The outcome of that brilliant but godless civilization was to promote the rapid increase of population. “Then men began to ‘multiply’ on the face of the earth.” Genesis 6:1. In the midst of this “Godless Civilization” a startling event occurred. “The ‘Sons of GOD’ saw the ‘Daughters of MEN’ that they were fair; and they took them WIVES of all which they chose.” Genesis 6:2.
This polygamous relation was not between the “Sons of SETH,” and the “Daughters of CAIN,” a union of the godly and wicked people of that day, as some suppose, but it has a far deeper meaning. The expression “Daughters of MEN” includes the daughters of Seth as well as the daughters of Cain, hence the expression “Sons of GOD” must mean beings different from the HUMAN RACE.
The title “Sons of God” has not the same meaning in the Old Testament that it has in the New. In the New Testament it applies to those who have become the “Sons of God” by the New Birth. John 1 : 12; Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3 : 1-2. In the Old Testament it applies to the angels, and is so used five times. Twice in Genesis (Genesis 6:2-4) and three times in Job. Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7. A “Son of God” denotes a being brought into existence by a creative act of God. Such were the angels, and such was Adam, and he is so called in Luke 3:38. But Adam’s natural descendants are not the special creation of God. Adam was created in the “likeness of God” (Genesis 5:1), but his descendants were born in his likeness, for we read in Genesis 5:3, that Adam “BEGAT a son in his own likeness, after his image.” Therefore all men born of Adam and his descendants by natural generation are the“SONS OF MEN,” and it is only by being “BORN AGAIN” (John 3:3-7), which is a “NEW CREATION,” that they can become the “SONS OF GOD” in the New Testament sense.
From this we see that the “Sons of GOD” of Genesis 6:2-4 could not be the “Sons of Seth,” for they were only unregenerate MEN, while the “Sons of GOD” were of a superior race, in other wordsANGELS. To this, however, objection is made that the Angels do not marry nor are given in marriage (Luke 20:27-36), therefore they must be “sexless” and could not cohabit with either themselves or human beings. But this does not necessarily follow. The Angels are created beings and do not die, therefore there is no need for marriage to prevent their extermination, but this does not imply that they are “’sexless” and do not have the power of procreation. We must not forget that Angels can assume the form of MEN and eat and drink (Genesis 18:1-8), and the whole difficulty vanishes when we see that it was AS MEN that the “Sons of God” (Angels) married the “Daughters of Men.”
We have only to turn to the Epistles of Peter and Jude for confirmation of this. In 2 Peter 2:4-9 we are told of the “Angels that SINNED,” and in Jude (6-7) of the Angels that “KEPT NOT THEIR FIRST ESTATE,” but “LEFT THEIR OWN HABITATION,” and are now “RESERVED IN EVERLASTING CHAINS UNDER DARKNESS” unto the “Judgment of the Great Day,” the “Great White Throne Judgment.” These Angels are not Satan’s Angels, for his angels are free. They must therefore be a “special class” of angels who have been imprisoned for some particular sin, and we are told what that sin was, it was “FORNICATION” and “going after STRANGE FLESH.” Jude 7. And the time of the commission of the sin is given as just BEFORE THE FLOOD. 2 Peter 2:4-5. This proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the “Sons of God” of Genesis 6:2-4 were Angels.
As further confirmation of this view we have the fact that the “offspring” of the union of the “Sons of God” and the “Daughters of Men,” were a race of “GIANTS, “ ”MIGHTY MEN, “ ”MEN OF RENOWN.” Genesis 6:4. Now the godly descendants of men have married ungodly women, but their offspring have never been such “MONSTROSITIES” as the offspring of the “Sons of God” and the “Daughters of Men” of Noah’s day, therefore that union must have been of an unnatural character as is evidenced by the term “Strange Flesh.” God could not permit such an abnormal race as the “progeny” of the union of angels and human beings to exist on the earth, so the outcome of this “Invasion” of the earth by the “Denizens of the Air” was the Flood, by which the contour and elevation of the Ante-diluvian Earth were changed, thus wiping out the “Garden of Eden,” and diminishing the length of human life on the earth.
In the Ante-diluvian Dispensation mankind was treated as a whole. There were no nations. That Dispensation is called in Acts 17 : 30, the “TIMES OF IGNORANCE,” and is contrasted with the “Times that are NOW,” and we are told that in that Dispensation God “WINKED AT” what He could not “OVERLOOK” in the Legal Dispensation. See the Chart on “The Times and Seasons.” Page 12.
III. THE PRESENT AGE
This “Age” extends from the Flood to the second stage of Christ’s Second Coming, called the “Revelation.” It covers four Dispensations.
1. The Post-Diluvian Dispensation
This was the “Dispensation of HUMAN GOVERNMENT.” If ever the human race had an opportunity to work out the theory of “Human Government” it was right after the Flood. Noah was an old man over 600 years of age, full of wisdom and experience, and his family, all of whom had reached maturity – for the youngest, Shem, was 98 years old – were qualified for self-government. Behind them was the Flood with all its warnings, and in addition the accumulated knowledge from Adam down to their day. The fact that Noah set up an altar and offered sacrifice implies that he and his family were godly. And when God commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth His purpose doubtless was to repeople the earth with a godly race. But 325 years after the Flood the “Tower of Babel” was built, revealing the proud and rebellious spirit of the people, and God came down and^ confused the language of the people and scattered them abroad over the face of the earth. Genesis 11:1-9. Here we have the origin of nations and the different languages of the earth. So this Dispensation was a failure like its predecessors.
2. The Patriarchal Dispensation
This Dispensation extended from the “Call of Abraham” to the “Exodus,” a period of 430 years, and is known as the “Dispensation of THE FAMILY.” It ended with all of Abraham’s descendants working as abject slaves in the brickyards of Egypt.
3. The Legal Dispensation
This Dispensation extended from the “Exodus” to the “Birth of Christ,” and is known as the “Dispensation of LAW.” Heretofore God had allowed man to govern himself, now He purposed to organize a Commonwealth with laws and regulations and a “visible” system of worship with a local habitation or place of worship. The government was “Theocratic.” That is, God ruled through representative men that He appointed, as Moses, Joshua, and the Judges. But the people grew tired of such a mode of government and demanded a king which eventually led to their undoing. God’s dealing with the people was based on a “WRITTEN LAW” given at Mt. Sinai. This “Civil” and “Ceremonial” Law was given to Israel only, and not to any other nation. Its observance ceased at the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. The wonderful feature of this Dispensation was that it was filled with the “Miraculous Interposition” of God in behalf of His chosen people. For them He opened the Red Sea, fed them in the Wilderness in a miraculous manner for 40 years, walled back the waters of the Jordan that they might cross over in safety into the Promised Land, and helped them to conquer it; For centuries God watched over and protected them, but they repaid His love and kindness by rejecting His Son, and this Dispensation ended, like its predecessors, in revealing the ungrateful and disobedient nature of fallen man.
4. The Ecclesiastical Dispensation
This is the “Dispensation of GRACE,” and extends from the “Cross” to the “Crown” for Christ, and from “Pentecost” to the “Rapture of the Church” for the Believer. This is a
thrown in between the “Dispersion” of Israel, and their “Restoration” to their own land. The purpose of this Dispensation is to gather out a “People for His Name,” called THE CHURCH. In this Dispensation we are under the “Davidic Covenant,” the sign of which is a “SON” (Jesus), and neither Jews nor Gentiles are dealt with as such. The characteristic of this Dispensation is, that “Blindness IN PART is happened to Israel until the ‘Fulness of the Gentiles’ be come in.” Romans 11:25. The “Fulness of the Gentiles,” with some Jews, make up a “New Body,” the CHURCH. This “New Body” is not under LAW but GRACE. Romans 6:14. When Christ took His seat upon the “Father’s Throne” He changed it from a “Throne of JUSTICE” to a “Throne of GRACE,” and God’s attitude in this Dispensation is one of favor and “longsuffering” toward wicked men and nations. 2 Peter 3:9. This Dispensation we are foretold will end in APOSTASY, for Christ Himself said that when He came back He would not find FAITH (the Faith) on the earth. Luke 18:8.
Between the “Ecclesiastical” and “Millennial” Dispensations there is another “Parenthetical Dispensation” the
“DISPENSATION OF JUDGMENT,
during which the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church are to be judged. The Church is to be “caught out” at the beginning of the Dispensation and judged at the “Judgment Seat of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. The Jews are to be judged during the Tribulation under Antichrist on the earth. Their Judgment is known as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” Jeremiah 30:4-7. Daniel 12:1. The Gentiles (the Nations) are to be judged at the close of the Tribulation, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall descend from Heaven and sit on the “Throne of His Glory,” and all nations shall be gathered in their representatives before Him, and the “SHEEP Nations” shall be rewarded by entrance into the “Millennial Kingdom,” and the“GOAT Nations,” as NATIONS, shall be destroyed. Matthew 25:31-46. The Judgment of the Church is as individuals, while that of the Jews and Gentiles is national.
IV. THE AGE OF AGES
This is a “Dual Age,” and includes the “Millennial Age” and the “Perfect Age,” between which the earth is “Renovated by Fire.” It will be ushered in at the “Second Stage” of Christ’s Second Coming.
1. The Millennial Age
This is not only an “Age,” it is also a “Dispensation,” the “Messianic Dispensation” or rule of Christ as King. Writers and poets have written and sung of a “Golden Age,” an Age of universal righteousness and peace; and the Jews believe that the “Seventh Thousand” of years from the Creation is to be a “Sabbath of Rest,” and that a description of that Age is given to us in the Old Testament. That there is to be a period of 1000 years during which Satan shall be bound and Christ shall reign over the earth is clearly revealed in the New Testament. This .period is mentioned six times in the Book of Revelation. Revelation 20:1-7.
In the Millennial Age God will again deal with mankind as a whole, but as made up of nations. The Church will not be on the earth, only as it is represented by those who will assist Christ, THE KING, in His Administration of the Millennial Kingdom. The Jews, as a nation, will then be the“HEAD OF THE NATIONS.” Deuteronomy 28:13. While they will in part observe the “Ceremonial Law,” they will be under a “NEW COVENANT.” Jeremiah 31:31-37. Hebrews 8:7-13. The principle under which God will deal with men in those days will not be Law, Grace, or Judgment, but RIGHTEOUSNESS. It will be an “Autocratic Government,” for Christ will rule with a “ROD OF IRON” (Isaiah 11:1,4; Revelation 2:27, Revelation 19:15; Psalm 2:9), but that rule will be based onLOVE. As Satan will be bound at that time, the character of ,the “Messianic Dispensation” will be entirely different from all preceding Dispensations, and cannot be classed with them. But we shall see, as we study the outcome of the “Millennial Age” in the Chapter on “The Kingdom,” that when Satan is loosed at the end of the Millennium man will reveal the fact that he is still a rebellious creature, with an evil heart of unbelief, for that Dispensation, like all that preceded it, will end in APOSTASY. Revelation 20:7-10.
RENOVATION OF THE EARTH BY FIRE
Between the “Millennial Age” and the “Perfect Age” the earth is to be “Renovated by Fire.” See the Chart on “The Three Stages of the Earth,” Here. This “Renovation” is described in 2 Peter 3:7-13. The earth as a “planet” is not to be destroyed, only the exterior surface is to be burned over for the purpose of destroying all poisonous and obnoxious plant growths, and the diseases and pests that prey on vegetable life that sin has produced, and the heavens (the earth’s atmosphere) “shall pass away with a great noise,” like an explosion of gas, and a new atmosphere (a new Heaven) shall take its place, which shall be free from all disease germs and “evil spirits” and destructive agencies.
2. The Perfect Age
It is this “Perfect Age,” or “Kingdom of the New Heaven and Earth” that Christ surrenders to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28), for the “Millennial Kingdom” is not perfect, there is sin in it, and it ends in Apostasy. As there is no room for this “Perfect Kingdom” before the “Renovation of the Earth by Fire” it must come after it. This “Perfect Kingdom” is also a “Dispensation,” the “Dispensation of theFULNESS OF TIMES.” Ephesians 1:10. The “Millennial Kingdom” and the “Perfect Kingdom” make up the “Kingdom of the SON OF MAN.”
V. THE AGES. OF THE AGES
As the “Creative Ages” were the “Alpha” Ages, these will be the “Omega” Ages. With the surrender of the “Perfect Kingdom” to the Father, what we speak of as “Time” ceases, and the “Eternal Ages,” called the “Ages of the Ages” begin. They correspond to what the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians calls the “Ages to Come.” Ephesians 2:7. And John in the Book of Revelation says that the “Devil” and the “Beast” and the “False Prophet” shall be tormented day and night forever and ever, or for the“Aions of the Aions,” the “Ages of the Ages,” Revelation 20:10, and that the “Servants of God” shall reign for the same period. Revelation 22:5.
What those “Ages of Ages” shall reveal of the Plan and Purpose of God we do not know, but if we are His we shall live to know, and possibly take part in their development. What we do know is that we are but in the beginning of things, and as concerning the “Ages,” Eternity is still young.
The Scriptures treat of “Three Classes” of Persons. The “Jews,” the “Gentiles,” and the “Church of God.” The Jews and the Gentiles are distinct from each other, while the Church of God is composed of both Jews and Gentiles, but not as Jews or Gentiles but as a “New Body.” All the human race that are not Jews are Gentiles. The Jews date back to Abraham, and became a distinct and separate nation at the Exodus. The most of the Old Testament is taken up with their history. They are an earthly people, while the “Church of God” are a heavenly people. Like the Jews the “Church of God” had a beginning. It began at the “Day of Pentecost” and will end chronologically at the Second Coming of Christ. At the present time the Jews are, as a nation, “sidetracked.” When the “Church of God” is taken out of the world, the Jews will again be restored to their own land and become the “Head of the Nations.” Nationally the Gentiles now govern the earth. This is what the Scriptures speak of as the “Times of the Gentiles.” Luke 21:24.
I. THE JEWS
As has been said the Jews had their origin in the morning time of history when God called Abraham, a Shemite, to be the father of a new nation. Genesis 12:1-3. God appeared to Abraham 10 times. These appearances were called “Theophanies,” and were progressive and unconditional in their promises, and the promises were unconditionally confirmed to Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:1-4), and to his grandson Jacob. Genesis 28:10-15.
The history of the Jewish race is without a parallel in human history. Though oppressed, downtrodden, carried captive to other lands and scattered through the nations, the Jew has outlived all his conquerors and walks unscathed amid the nations. Any other race would have been swallowed up and its identity and national characteristics lost. The preservation of the Jewish race is the “MIRACLE OF HISTORY.” Their “Emblem” is a “BUSH BURNING AND UNCONSUMED.”
No nation has ever had such manifest and visible tokens of the “Divine Presence.” For them the Red Sea was driven back and the Jordan parted. They were miraculously fed in the Wilderness and Divinely sheltered and guided by the “Pillar of Cloud and Fire.” At the blowing of “ram’s horns” the walls of a besieged city fell (Joshua 6:1-27), and the Sun and Moon stayed in their courses that they might have time to slay their enemies. Joshua 10:12-14. The “Angel of the Lord” encamped about them, and one angel slew 185,000 of the army of Assyria for their deliverance. 2 Kings 19:35. No nation has given to the world such a number of great men. Such a man of faith as Abraham; such a great leader and lawgiver as Moses; such statesmen as Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon; such a king as David, and wise man as Solomon. No nation has produced such “seers” as the Hebrew Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, and no such man as that man above all men, the
“MAN OF GALILEE.”
In the first Christian century there is no name that shines more resplendent than that of the Apostle Paul. And in modern days the men who have made and are making history are JEWS.
How are we to account for the wonderful preservation of the Jewish Race? Only on the supposition that God had, and still has, some great work for them to do. In the first place they were raised up to reaffirm and teach that there was but ONE God. In the second place to be the Writers, Preservers and Transmitters of the Holy Scriptures. To them were committed the “ORACLES of God.” Romans 3:1-2. Every page and book in the Bible was written by Jews. The Jews took especial care to preserve the Scriptures and keep them from being tampered with. In the third place they were raised up that God through them might give the world a SAVIOUR. Who was Jesus? A JEW. In the fourth place they were raised up that they might save the world from moral putrefaction. When Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), did He simply mean that from them should come the Saviour – Jesus? or did He mean, as when He said – “YE Are the ‘SALT OF THE EARTH,’” that the Jewish Race were to be the means of preventing the “Moral Putrefaction” of the world, and that if they became extinct as a nation the world would be ripe for judgment? The writer thinks he meant the latter, and that the salvation of the Nations, morally and physically, and the preservation of the human race on the earth depends on the preservation and continuance of the Jews as a RACE.
The present degenerate condition of the world is owing to the fact that the Jews have lost their savor, as the salt its saltness, and until they recover it degeneration will continue to develop until the time comes that the smell of the decomposition of the decaying nationalities of the earth shall call for Divine interposition and the Jewish SALT be resavored by the conversion of the Jews, and their becoming the leading nation of the world.
For the Jews today there is no “Pillar of Cloud” by day, nor “Shechinah Flame” by night. They have no altars, no sacrifices, no priesthood as in former days. They observe the “Passover,” but no paschal lamb is slain. They keep the “Great Day of Atonement,” but no blood is shed to make reconciliation for sin. All sacrifices and oblations have ceased. They have no King, no Judges, no Prophets, no inspired writers. The “Urim” and “Thummin” give no Divine token. The word of God is precious, but there is no “open vision.” Their last Great Prophet was the “Man of Galilee,” but Him they rejected. Like their forefathers, who took Joseph, after they had rejected him, and sold him for 20 pieces of silver, and he was hidden from their view in Egypt on the Throne of Pharaoh, so the Jews took Jesus, their Joseph, and having rejected Him, sold Him for 30 pieces of silver, and He is now hidden from them on His Father’s Throne.
Why Is This? Have they been supplanted as a “Nation” by the Gentiles, and as “God’s People” by the Church? Are they never again to have a land of their own, and a King, and a Capital City, and a National Existence?
Is not their condition today the fulfillment of the prophecy of Hosea 3:4?
“The Children of Israel shall abide MANY DAYS without a King, and without a Prince, and without a Sacrifice, and without an Image, and without an Ephod, and without Teraphim?” Is it not that Jerusalem must be –
“Trodden down of the Gentiles until the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ be fulfilled?” Luke 21:24.
What does Paul say –
“Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the ‘Fulness of the Gentiles’ be come in. And so All Israel Shall Be Saved.” Romans 11:25-26.
From these scriptures we see that the Jews have not been supplanted by either the Gentiles or the Church, and when the time comes they will again become a nation.
We indulge in no idle and profitless speculations when we attempt to forecast the future of the Jewish People. All we have to do is to gather together and place in their logical order what the Holy Spirit through the Prophets, has foretold. The method is as simple as the result is sure.
THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS
1. As to the FACT.
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people ‘Israel’ and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land.” Amos 9:14-15.
But you say this prophecy was fulfilled in the restoration from the “Babylonian Captivity.” Not so, for they were driven out of the land after that, and this promise is, that they shall no more be pulled up out of their land, and must refer to some future restoration. The return from the “Babylonian Captivity” was the First restoration, and the Scriptures speak of a Second.
“And it shall come to pass in “That Day” (Millennial Day) that the Lord shall set his hand again the SECOND TIME to recover the remnant of His People, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the Sea.” Isaiah 11:11.
The Jews have never been restored but ONCE, and that was from Babylon. The march from Egypt to Canaan was not a restoration. You cannot have anything restored to you unless it has been in your possession before, and Palestine was never in possession of the Children of Israel until after its conquest by Joshua.
Again the Jews are to come this time, not from the “East,” as when they returned from the “Babylonish Captivity,” but from the “North,” and from “All Countries.”
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the Children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the Children of Israel from the land of the NORTH and from ALL THE LANDS whither He had driven them; and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” Jeremiah 16:14-15. Also Isaiah 43:5-7.
2. As to the TIME.
When the “TIMES OF THE GENTILES” Have Been Fulfilled.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, UNTIL the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24.
3. As to the MANNER.
a. Gathered Back UNCONVERTED.
“I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. THEN will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A New Heart also will I give you, and a New Spirit will I put within you; and I will give you an Heart of Flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes; and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:24-27.
b. Before Conversion They Are To Be JUDGED.
“I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. . . . And I will cause you to
‘Pass Under The Rod,’
and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant ; and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the Land of Israel.” Ezekiel 20:34-38.
Then God will cast them into His
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in Mine anger and in My fury and I will leave you there, and MELT YOU. Yea I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of My wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out My fury upon you.” Ezekiel 22:19-22.
“Behold, I will send My messenger (Elijah – Malachi 4:5-6), and he shall prepare the way before Me, and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in : behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a Refiner’s Fire, and like Fuller’s Soap: and He shall sit as a Refiner and Purifier of Silver: and He shall Purify the Sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:1-3.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined,and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name and I will hear them: I will say, it is My people; and they shall say, the Lord is my God.” Zechariah 13:9.
The Jews have never as yet had such an experience as this. It is spoken of in Jeremiah 30:4-7, and Daniel 12:1, as the “Time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble,’” and Christ called it “THE GREAT TRIBULATION,” and He and Zechariah the Prophet associate it with the Return of the Lord. Matthew 24:21-31. Zechariah 14:1-11.
The result of these terrible judgments will be that the Jews will call in their misery upon the Lord.
“And I will pour upon the ‘House of David’ and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem The Spirit of Grace and of Supplications.” Zechariah 12:10.
Then Christ will come back to Jerusalem –
“And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east.” Zechariah 14:4. “And they shall look upon ME Whom They Have Pierced.” Zechariah 12:10.
And a nation, the Jewish Nation, shall be born (converted) IN A DAY.
“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a Nation Be Born at Once? for as soon as Zion Travailed, She Brought Forth Her Children.” Isaiah 66:8.
As the Children of Israel when they came out of Egypt took with them of the “Riches of the Egyptians,” (Exodus 12:35, Exodus 12:36), so when they return to their own land they will take with them the “Riches of the Gentiles.” Isaiah 60:9; Isaiah 61:6.
When they return to their own land it will be to possess and occupy all that was promised to Abraham.
“The Royal Grant”
given by the Almighty to Abraham extended from the “River of Egypt” unto the “Great River,” the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18) ; and according to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 48:1-29), from Hamath, north-east of Damascus, to Kadesh on the south. The Temple will be rebuilt. The Glory of the Lord will return. Sacrifices will again be offered. The Government shall be reestablished, and the nations of the earth will be blessed through Israel. Zechariah 8:20-23*. (*For a fuller account of the Jews see my book on “Dispensational Truth,” the chapters on “The Jews,” “The Tribulation” and “The Kingdom.”)
II. THE GENTILES
The prominent Gentile nations of the world have been Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. When God’s chosen people the Israelites fell into idolatry, and were carried into Captivity to Babylon, they were supplanted by the Gentiles. For a long time the nations of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon were anxious to fall upon Israel and conquer them, but God held them in an unseen leash until the iniquity of Israel was full, and then let them loose, and permitted the world power to pass into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. This happened in B. C. 606, and marked the beginning of the “Times of the Gentiles,” spoken of by Christ in Luke 21:24, and which is a period that in the mind of God has certain chronological limits. It is not to be confounded with the “Fulness of the Gentiles” spoken of by Paul in Romans 11:25. The “Fulness of the Gentiles” refers to the Gentiles that are “gathered out” to make up the Church, and “blindness in part” will continue among the Jews until the “Fulness” (the whole number of the elect) of the Gentiles be come in, then the Church is “caught out” and the Jews restored to their own land. The “Fulness of the Gentiles” began at Pentecost and ends at least seven years before the “Times of the Gentiles” end.
The “Times of the Gentiles” are fully outlined in the Book of Daniel. The Book of Daniel contains one “Dream” by Nebuchadnezzar, and four “Visions” of Daniel all relating to the “Times of the Gentiles.” In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign he had a dream. Daniel 2:31-45.
In his “Dream” he saw an immense “Image” or “COLOSSUS.” This “Colossus” symbolized the “World Kingdoms” in their “Unity” and “Historical” Succession. Gentile dominion is represented by a huge “METALLIC MAN.” See the Chart “The Five Great World-Wide Kingdoms, just above. The degeneration of the “World Kingdoms” is seen in the diminishing value of the metals used. The weight of the Image also declines. The “Colossus” is “Top-Heavy.” The four metal of which the “Colossus” was composed represent “Four World-wide Kingdoms” which were to arise in succession. Daniel 2:37-40. Four Great Kingdoms, and only four, are to succeed each other in the government of the world from Nebuchadnezzar to the “Second Coming” of Christ—the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman. These Kingdoms are not only made known as to number, but their names, in the order of their succession, are given. Daniel 2:38-40, Daniel 8:20-21, Daniel 9:26. The deterioration of the Colossus, as shown in the character of the metals composing it, is prophetic of the character of the governments as they were to succeed each other from an “Absolute Monarchy,” as seen in the rule of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 5:19), to an “Autocratic Democracy” as seen in the “Iron and Clay” of the feet of the Image. Daniel 2:41-43. Thus showing that Gentile Dominion passes gradually from the “Head,” or the organ which ought to direct the members, to the “Feet,” which are only made to carry the body whither the head directs.
The “Colossus” comes to an end by being smitten on the FEET by a “Stone Cut Out of a Mountain.” The “Stone” does not fill the earth by degrees and thus crowd out the Colossus, it at one blow DEMOLISHES IT. The action of the “Stone” is JUDGMENT, not Grace. It therefore cannot mean Christianity, for it is a process, whereas the action of the “Stone” is SUDDEN andCALAMITOUS. Again the “Time” of the destruction is not until after the formation of the “Toes,” and we know that the “Two Limbs” of the Colossus did not appear until A. D. 364, and the “Ten Toes” have not yet developed. The “Time” when the “Stone” falls on the Colossus is distinctly stated in the interpretation as “in the days of those kings,” that is, in the days of the kings represented by the “Ten Toes” which is yet future. Daniel 7:23-24.
The “Stone” represents Christ. As the Four Kingdoms represented by the four metals are literal Kingdoms, it follows that the “Stone Kingdom” must be a literal Kingdom, for it takes the place of those Kingdoms and conquers the whole earth. The “Stone Kingdom” then is the “Millennial Kingdom” of Christ, and the “Colossus,” or the “Times of the Gentiles” typified by it, cannot come to an end until the “Second Stage” (Revelation) of Christ’s Second Coming.
Forty-eight years after Nebuchadnezzar had his dream of the “Colossus” Daniel had a “vision” of “Four Wild Beasts.” Daniel 7:1-8, Daniel 7:15-27. In character they descended from the Lion, the “King of Beasts,” to a nondescript monster with teeth of iron, and toe nails of brass, and “Ten Horns” on its head. Daniel saw that the “Beasts” corresponded with the metals of the Colossus and represented the same thing. But while Daniel considered the “Beasts” he was surprised to see a “Little Horn” spring up among the “Ten Horns” of the ‘”Fourth Wild Beast.” Daniel 7:8. This mystified him, for he had seen no “Little Toe” spring up among the “Ten Toes” of the Colossus. He therefore concluded that it was an additional revelation that God had not seen fit to reveal to the Gentile king Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel noticed that the “Little Horn,” that rose among the “Ten Horns” of the “Fourth Wild Beast,” “plucked up by the roots” three of the “Ten Horns,” and that it had the “eyes” and the “mouth” of a MAN. Thus was revealed to Daniel not only the “Four World-wide “Kingdoms” in the order of their succession, but a vision, in the “Little Horn,” of the last Gentile King – the ANTICHRIST.
The reason why these Four Kingdoms are represented first as a “Golden-Headed Metallic Image,” and then as a succession of “Wild Beasts,” is to show the difference between man’s view and God’s view of the World Kingdoms. Man sees in them the concentration of wealth, majesty and power; God sees them as a succession of rapacious wild beasts devouring one another.
While these “Four World-wide Kingdoms” were to succeed each other in the order named, they were not to succeed each other without a break. This was revealed to Daniel in his vision of the “Ram and He Goat,” (Daniel 8:1-27), and is shown on the Chart. By the death of Alexander the Great, the “Great Horn” of the “He Goat,” the Grecian Kingdom was divided into four minor Kingdoms, Macedonia, Thrace, Syria and Egypt. They lasted from B. C. 323 to B. C. 30, when the Roman Empire became the Fourth World-wide Kingdom and continued as such until A. D. 364, when it was divided into its Eastern and Western Divisions. But while the Roman Empire as such disappeared in A. D. 364, it still in its laws and religious influence holds sway, and is to be revived and again become a “World Power” in a “Ten Kingdom” form, represented by the “Ten Toes” of the Colossus and the “Ten Horns” of Daniel’s “Fourth Wild Beast.”
As to the date when the “Times of the Gentiles” will end we have no knowledge. There are those who claim that the word “Times” is prophetic, and that a prophetic “Time” is a year of 360 days, each day standing for a YEAR, thus making a “Time” equal to 360 YEARS. They also claim that Moses in the Book of Leviticus (Leviticus 26:18-21, Leviticus 26:24-28), foretold, and four times repeated it, that if the Children of Israel disobeyed God He would punish them “Seven Times,” and that Jesus referred to these “Seven Times” when He spoke of the “TIMES” of the Gentiles. Therefore if a “Time” is 360 YEARS, “Seven Times” would be 2520 YEARS, and as the “Times of the Gentiles” began in B. C. 606, they should end in A. D. 1914. The fallacy of the argument is seen in the fact that that date is past and the “Times of the Gentiles” is not yet ended.
In Scripture a month is 30 days (Genesis 7:11-24; Genesis 8:3-4) and a year 360 days. But from B. C. 606, to A. D. 1914, there were 2520 “Julian Years” of 365.25 days each, which, when we reduce them to “Calendar Years” of 360 days each, make 2556.75 years, or 36.75 years more than 2520 years, so that the “Times of the Gentiles” should have ended in A. D. 1877.
The fact is the “Seven Times” of Leviticus are not “Prophetic Times.” The Children of Israel have been punished, given over to “Servitude” and “Captivity,” exactly SEVEN times. Their present “Dispersion” is neither a “Servitude” nor “Captivity” and does not count. All we can know then as to the “length” of the “Times of the Gentiles” is, that they began in B. C. 606, and will end when Christ comes back and sets up the “STONE” or “Millennial Kingdom.”