TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART 6

TIME THROUGHOUT THE COSMOLOGICAL DOMAINS



§ The Time Factor

 

  1. The New Testament identifies time in terms of fixed-point events (kairoi) and periods of duration (aión), meticulously outlining the kairoi event points connected with the cosmologic plan of salvation (e.g., Ac. 1:7I Th. 5:1; II Th. 2:6; Rev. 1:3; 11:18; Lk. 19:44; 21:8; I Pt. 1:5; I Tim. 2:6; 6:14-15; Tit. 1:3; I Pt. 1:11) as well as by related words for “day” and “hour” (e.g., Mk. 13:32; Acts 2:20 (from Joel 2:31); II Tim. 1:12; 1:18; 4:8; Ac. 17:31). (Yet the scriptures proffer not one point of kairos to mark what would have to be the most astounding demonstration of “salvation” of all time were it true—i.e., the universalist “salvation” of all men out of the Lake of Fire! Universalism can only argue for an imaginary kairos by trying to convert periods of aión into an implied kairos. They have to argue over aión because there is no kairos to prove the “salvation” event they propose.)

 

  1. That aión is used both for temporal terrestrial durations and endless heavenly duration reveals that time is itself endless, as does the fact that God Himself is identified as unending past, present and future (Rev. 1:4,8; also Heb. 13:8). Eternity is not treated in scripture as timelessness but as endless time (past, present and future, Rev. 4:8) in terms of compounded ages without definition or limitations (Rev. 11:15 Gk. toùs aionas ton aiṓnōn; 14:11):

 Thus in the New Testament field it is not time and eternity that stand opposed, but limited time and unlimited, endless time.

….When the Christian writers, in their statements concerning calculable time, look backward, they write ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος ("out of the age"), ἀπ' αἰῶνος ("from the age"), or even ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων ("from the ages"); when they look forward, they write εἰς αἰῶνα  ("into the age") or εἰς τοῦς αἰῶνας (" into the ages"). Both usages agree with those of the Old Testament. Eternity, accordingly, is designated by the term αἰών, which
carries a time meaning. (Cullman, Oscar. Christ and Time: The Primitive Christian Conception of Time and History, 3rd ed., 1962, SCM Press Ltd., London, pp. 45-47.)

 

If we wish to understand the Primitive Christian use of αἰών ("age"), we thus must free ourselves completely from all philosophical concepts of time and eternity. In summary, it may be said that the temporal sense of the word…has in view a longer duration of time, and specifically:

1.Time in its entire unending extension, which is unlimited in both the backward and the forward direction, and hence is "eternity."

2.Limited time, which lies between Creation and the eschatological drama, and thus is identical with the "present" age, “this" age.

3.Periods of time that are limited in one direction but unlimited in the other, and specifically:

a.      The period to which the phrase ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος, "out of the age," points back, i.e., the time that lies before the Creation. On the side of Creation it has an end and so a limit; but in the backward direction it is unlimited, unending, and only in this sense is it eternal. It is mentioned very rarely, indeed only marginally in the New Testament.

b.     The time that extends beyond the end of the present age (αἰών μέλλων, the "coming age"). It thus has in the so-called eschatological drama its beginning and so a limit; but in the forward direction it is unlimited, unending, and only in this sense is it eternal. (Cullman, p. 48.)

 

 

 

  1. Years (hence ages and thus time itself) have no end (Ps. 102:2427 / Heb. 1:12; also Job 36:26). (The endlessness of the Lord’s years disproves the Universalist philosophic assumption that time has an end, rendering moot all debate about “durations” of post-death states of (anti-) existence, and eliminating any meaningful distinction between the concepts of eternity and time beyond death.)

 

 

  1. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness in either the age before or after Messiah, that is, a Jewish idiom for never (Mk. 3:29). (First century Jews and Christians understood only two broad ages: the time prior to the Day of the Lord, and the time after. These were referred to as “this age, and in the age to come.” The warning against the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was given within purview of this understanding, wherein the age of the Messiah, a.k.a. the Day of the Lord, has no end. (See “Eschatalogical Dualism” from Ladd, George Eldon, A Theology of the New Testament, rev. ed., 1993, Eerdman’s, Grand Rapids, pp. 42-46). Thus the Universalist belief that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit can be forgiven in “some” other age “after” the “next age” is contrary to the Jewish belief structure within which Jesus spoke and so is without foundation.)

 

  1. The kingdom of God endures “throughout all generations” and has no end (cessation) to time out of view and to the ages of the ages (Ps. 145:13 (Dan. 4:3,34; 6:26;7:14); Is. 9:7; Lk. 1:33 Dan. 7:27 (Aram. `alam) Rev. 11:15 (Gk. toùs aionas ton aiṓnōn)); but rather the kingdom is [to]the end [of the earth] (Dan. 6:26 [4:11,22] Aram. cowph) as God’s conclusive purpose ( I Cor. 15:24 Gk. (telos)), even as Christ, too, is the end of all divine purpose (Rev. 21:6; 22:13 Gk. (telos)). (The Aram. cowph and Gk. telos translated “end” as applied to the kingdom simultaneously describe the kingdom’s unlimited terrestrial extremity and its conclusivity of God’s purpose, being the objective, fulfilment, goal, outcome and consummation of all purpose (cf. telos in Mt. 26:58; Rom. 6:21-22; Jas. 5:11; I Pt. 1:9 “outcome,” Lk. 22:37 “fulfillment,” I Th. 2:16 “utmost,” I Tim. 1:5 “goal,” I Pt. 3:8 “sum”). These complementary words for “end” have nothing to do with “cessation” of the kingdom, described in Lk 1:33 and everywhere else as having “no cessation.” Thus the Universalist idea that the kingdom comes to cessational “end” of duration in I Cor. 15:24 in order to allow for a cessation of the Lake of Fire is utterly bogus. One may as well say that “all generations” and Christ Himself come to cessation! I Cor. 15:24 is properly understood to say, “Then comes the consummation of purpose, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father…”)

 
Proceed to PART 7

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Chris Anderson
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island

First Love Ministry

- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
http://www.firstloveministry.org

10/18

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