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TimeLine Notebook

Church Ages

Characterizing Congregations of
Messiah's Believers Through Time

Hints of What's Ahead...

There are various helpful interpretations of prophetic writings found in the biblical text. However, some interpretations attempt to position meanings based on assumptions or attempt to avoid conflicts stemming from cultural perceptions. This is not constructive, especially when further study reveals further biblical content that does not agree with the interpretation or assumptions made. The challenge then is to dig further to find the underlying truth.

For example, some rabbis and other scholars have tried to place Daniel in history such that he would be writing about events as they happened. Was Daniel there when the Macabees revolted against Antiochus? Did he witness the events during Alexander's reign? Yet Daniel was in the Babylonian court writing in advance of the Greek Empire and long before Antiochus entered the Middle Eastern stage of history. Daniel characterized empires and events before they occurred with a time line precision that is truly wonderful.

Why would a rabbi move Daniel forward in time? As we describe elsewhere, Daniel's writings identify the time of the Jewish Messiah's first appearance. [For a mini-study of the Book of Daniel see Chapter 15 of the Creator's Window Part III ] Some wish not to acknowledge this as a specific fulfillment of Daniel's writings.

So, on the one hand we find Daniel's writings include prophecy. On the other hand, some disbelieve it. But where prophetic writings are found in the biblical text, some are already fulfilled while other prophecies await fulfillment. The key point here, along with the example above, is that prophecy is always forward looking from when the text is first written.

Church Ages - Characterizing Congregations of Messiah's Believers Through Time

Yochanan (John) presents us with information that is likewise forward looking. His writings include and describe characterizations of seven church ages. This is found in the initial chapters of the book known as Revelation — which more literally is a set of writings concerning the revealing of the Messiah and future events. The over emphasis on world destruction that secularists place on Revelation misses the larger significance of these writings ('revelation' from the Greek word 'apokalupsis' is only emphasizing a process of revealing truth).

The WindowView time line features content to describe seven periods or ages that characterize the community of Messiah's believers on earth — over time from the first century to today — just prior to the return of the Messiah. If you have some background in general history you may see how these descriptions fit within the greater context of history and the particular portion of the time line that we are viewing here.

Again, here is an example of a transitioning of events over time and all this is relevant to events that are just over the time horizon ahead of us. Note how the last church age aligns well with current events and present social concerns. You will encounter the seven descriptions here in Part I and later in Part II of the Time Line.


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 References:  - click panel tab below to see more ...
SOURCES, Citations, and Reference listing.
TimeLine References:
  • Various sources were used to develop this time line. Where possible dates are cross checked or events are placed in relative position. Many of the dates used above come from the following references:
  • Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M., Ph.D.1982. Footsteps of Messiah - A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. (Fruchtenbaum)
  • Ayers, Ed. 1999. God's Last Offer - Negotiating for a Sustainable Future. (A)
  • Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G., Th.M., Ph.D.1982. Footsteps of Messiah - A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. (Fruchtenbaum) (New edition 2003)
  • Graham, Billy. 1992. Storm Warning. Published by: W Publishing Group (formerly Word Publishing)
  • Grun, Bernard. 1991. The Timetables of History - A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New Third Revised Edition. Based on Werner Stein's Kulturfahrplan. A Touchstone Book:New York. (G)
  • Ice, T., and R. Price. 1989. Ready to Rebuild — The Imminent Plant to Rebuild the Last Days Temple. (IP)
  • (Info)
  • H. Lindsey. 1973. There's A New World Coming. Bantam Books. (Lindsey)
  • Randall Price. 2001 Unholy War. (P)
  • Dr. G. Schroeder with Z. Levitt. Genesis One. Levitt Ministries (see note in graphic box at top of this table for details).
  • SciNews: Science News is a science news weekly generally obtained by subscription, also see:
  • Web (Internet): Occasionally we find what appear as reliable, but formally unpublished, sources on the Internet. As such these entries remain to be fully confirmed. In many cases this information is found to agree with the remainder of the timeline and the published sources used here.
  • Zondervan Corporation. 1985. The NIV Study Bible. Zondervan Bible Publishers:Grand Rapids.

For a general listing of books, visit the WindowView Book Page for: Science and Scripture .
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