End of the Age

Jul 15, 2012 by

End of the Age

End of the Age and Good news of the kingdom

There are two key phrases about the end times in Mark‘s gospel which unlock its meaning. The ‘end of the age,’ and the ‘good news of the kingdom.’

When he (Jesus) was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)

And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

The end of the age or era was mistranslated as the end of the world  in the King James Version of the bible. Literally, it means the completion of the age. So what ‘age’ are we talking about that is being completed? The Tyndale commentary tells us that it could apply to the end of any era, not necessarily the final one, the end of history. If it’s the end of an era, an age in time, then what is that era?

One of the problems of Christianity is that it tends to exist in its own little bubble. For years, astrology has also existed in its own little bubble. But tying the two together makes quite a bit of sense here. By astrology, I don’t mean those silly little pages at the end of the women’s mags, but the study of the motion of the stars and planets and their effect on the biosphere in which we live – because they do affect this earth. Astrology, in its broadest sense, is the search for meaning in the sky. Astrology began as a study as soon as human beings made conscious attempts to measure, record, and then predict seasonal changes by following the movements of the stars. Early people noted the effect the moon had on tides and rivers, and they charted it, scratching marks on cave walls – as early as 25,000 years ago. Many of the ancients studied the stars for thousands of years, gradually adding to knowledge of generations that came before them. Astrology was the beginnings of science – astronomy came from it.

In western astrology there are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs. At the completion of one cycle of twelve astrological ages, the cycle repeats itself. This is based on an astronomical observation called the precession of the equinoxes – to do with the wobble of the earth on its axis. One complete period of this precession is called a Great Year of about 26,000 years. So there are 12 ages, making up 26,000 years – each age being a little over 2000 years. Astrology tells us that the last age, the age of Pisces, the fish, is now coming to an end. The beginning of the age of Pisces was 2000 years ago, the time of Christ, whose first followers were fishermen, whom Jesus said would become fishers of men. The secret sign of the early Christians was the fish symbol, because ‘fish’ in Greek was Ichthys, which was the first four letters of Jesus Christ, God’sSon, Saviour. So we see the connections. The age of Pisces, the fish, begins with fish symbolism in the gospels, and we are now told the age of Pisces is coming to an end – it is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, as the 1970s musical put it. Aquarius is the water carrier. There is a strong Biblical link between Jesus and living water being poured out, as the following quotations show:

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:37-38)


Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. (Revelation 21:6)


Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)


The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. (Revelation 22:17)


So maybe the end of the age is the end of this era and the beginning of a new one. A time when the Christ pours out the living water into everyone. There has also been a lot of hype around about the end of the Mayan calendar – and again, this is based on the end of a 26,000 year cycle – and the start of a new one. All sorts of predictions go with what is going to happen – from doom and gloom scenarios to an age on enlightenment, of higher consciousness. It’s that idea of higher consciousness that the bible hints at. In the gospel reading, Jesus said:


And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Is this what he meant by ‘this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world?’ Is it a higher state of consciousness to be established in humanity as we move from one astrological age to the next? Again, end means the conclusion of an act or state, the end of an era of something. But if the good news of the kingdom is to be preached, we need to be very clear what that good news is.

First of all, it was the primary purpose of Jesus:

But he said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:43-44)

Secondly, it is associated with healing

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. (Matthew 9:35)

Whenever the good news of the kingdom is proclaimed, healing seems to go with it.

It was also what his followers proclaimed after Jesus died:

But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)

He (Paul) entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. (Acts 19:8)

Paul again said: “And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. (Acts 20:25)

Paul lived there (in Rome) two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:30-31)

So what is the good news of the kingdom? If it is what Jesus was proclaiming before he died, it wasn’t about his death. It was about the way he lived. His good news was that we can live the same way that Jesus did. We can live in such a way that we rise above the lower human nature, the ‘flesh’, as St Paul called it, and we can let love become our guide, living from a heart of compassion. This is the kingdom of God. St Paul wrote to the Philippians: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) These words tell us that we are not just to be following Jesus, but actually acquiring his consciousness, his mind.

Cynthia Bourgeault, an American priest wrote about the kingdom of God in ‘The Wisdom Jesus,’

“A lot of Christians assume that the Kingdom of Heaven means the place where you go when you die – if you’ve been good. But the problem with this interpretation is that Jesus himself specifically contradicts it when he says, “The Kingdom of heaven is within you” (that is, here) and “at hand” (that is, now). It’s not later, but lighter – some more subtle quality or dimension of experience accessible to you right at this moment. You don’t die into it; you awaken into it…Where is it then?”

She goes on to suggest that the Kingdom of Heaven is really a metaphor for a state of consciousness; it is not a place you go to, but a place you come from. It is a whole new way of looking at the world, a transformed awareness. She suggests that the Kingdom of Heaven is Jesus’ own favourite way of describing a state we would nowadays call a “non-dual consciousness” or “unitive consciousness.” The hallmark of this awareness is that it sees no separateness – not between God and humans, not between humans and other humans. And these are indeed Jesus’ two core teachings, underlying everything he says and does.”

Jesus suggests a complete mutual indwelling; ‘I am in God, God is in you, you are in God, we are in each other’. There is an interconnectedness at some level beyond our ordinary senses.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in me as I abide in you. (John 15:5)

As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)

That they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity. (John17:22-23)

I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)

This indicates a mutual indwelling in love. At some higher level, we are all interconnected. But if we are not aware of that higher level, if we have not awakened into it, then we continue to think we are on our own, our little individual existences – and we live in the lower, fleshly nature. The kingdom of heaven is about awakening into way of living that is from an open heart of life, love, compassion and abundance. It’s about the changes that the Spirit of God wants and yearns to bring about amongst us. It’s about living in the kingdom, living with fullness of life. It’s not about standard of living, it’s not about how much you’ve got in possessions – it’s about how much treasure you’ve stored up in the heavenly account, it’s about what you seek first in life.

None of us are totally there yet, but I know the direction I want to folow. Christianity is not about living a good life.  It is about being transformed by the radical nature of God’s love, so that we live from a heart of compassion, interconnected with each other and with God.

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1 Comment

  1. Gordon Slaymaker

    Eventually catching up on some things you had referred to at “Into Christ Consciousness” conference at Findhorn.

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