History is dated around the incarnation of Christ. There is history before Christ (B.C), and the present time with Christ (A.D.).
There is another way to look at history: when God worked through Israel.
Most of Bible history concerns that one nation God ordained with a promise to Israel’s forefathers: “I will make of thee a great nation” and “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen 12:3; Gen 22:18).
This Hebrew nation was to be God’s channel of blessing to the nations of the world.
Israel was not to be reckoned among the nations (Num 23:9). Any nation that was not Israel was known as Gentile.
God has not dealt with any nation as he did with Israel (Num 23:9; Psa 147:20). When God works through Israel, there must also be Gentiles: nations that would receive blessing (or curse) through God’s working with Israel.
A Look at History
From Adam to Abraham God did not work through any single nation. There was no promise, no Israel; no Jew, no Gentile.
With the giving of promises to Abraham, their covenants, and law, there was the Israel of God; a separation of Jew and Gentile.
We see in history a period with Christ, and a period without Christ. We can also see a period with Israel (Jew and Gentile) and a period without Israel (neither Jew nor Gentile).
When seen together we can start to see God’s purpose in history.
In the beginning there was a period without Jew or Gentile and without Christ. This resulted in man’s failure.
In time past there was a second period with Israel (Jew and Gentile) but without Christ. This resulted in Israel’s failure.
Since Christ, there is a period with Israel (Jew and Gentile) and with Christ. This will result in the salvation of Israel and the blessing of the nations.
Fourthly, there is a period without Israel (no Jew nor Gentile) and with Christ. This results in the salvation of a creature not mentioned in Israel’s history called the church, the Body of Christ (Rom 11:32; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11; Eph 2:15).
God Working in History
With Israel God is operating with nations, and intervening on earth according to his covenants with Israel.
Without Israel God is not operating with nations, and does not intervene on earth according to his covenants with Israel.
Without Christ man fails at attaining any sort of righteousness before God (Rom 3:23).
With Christ God succeeds at providing salvation by his grace through faith.
Few Christians are ignorant that we are now living in the time of history with Christ, but few understand that we are living in a period without Israel, spiritual or otherwise (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:28; Gal 6:15).
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” – Romans 11:25
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For a lesson describing this change in the Bible see our chart lesson here.