God’s plan is in progress
The plan of salvation of mankind is much more than the common belief that good people who accept Jesus go to heaven and all the rest, the billions who are not converted to Christianity, go to hell to burn forever in endless torment. That is a very short sighted view of God’s plan and is incorrect. There is much more to God’s plan than that idea of going to heaven or hell after death.
There is a great deal to understand about the plan of salvation. That plan is revealed to us in His written Word, the Holy scriptures. The Grand Plan of God involves this Divine Being creating sons and daughters to be born into His Kingdom.
It is His will to create a family in His likeness and character.
Gen 1:26 (KJV) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…
He planned this before the existence of time or anything physical.
Before the creation of the physical universe there existed the spirit realm where God dwells.
Psa_113:5 (KJV) Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
The creation of the physical universe is described in the first chapter of Genesis.
When we find the word “beginning” in scripture it is referring to something commencing. It is like the start of a process or a race. It has a starting point and runs its course. A race starts and it ends at the finish line. All events are marked by time. And so are the ages or eons which are mentioned often in scripture. It is when one understands the sequence of ages also called eons that the Plan of God is unveiled.
Gen 1:1 (KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Heb 1:10 (KJV) And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
The omniscient God is the God of Creation. He is not only a God of love, but that of Creator, and should be so worshiped and acknowledged.
From the writing of J. Preston Eby in God, All in All he states “in the eternal realm before the ages were formed, and ages before man first saw the light of earth’s day, the almighty Lord set in motion His omniscient and immutable purpose for the ages which were to follow“.
Job 38:4 (KJV) Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Job 38:5 (KJV) Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Job 38:6 (KJV) Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
Job 38:7 (KJV)When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
A little understood aspect of how God works with His physical creation are the scriptures dealing with the ages (eons). With out a doubt, it is of primary importance to understand the wonderful truth of the saving work of Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. But realize there is much more precious truth about God’s plan when we go to the original text of scripture and not rely on the tainted versions of many popular Bibles.
Our all-wise heavenly Father planned the events of each successive age from the very first age unto the final age far beyond our mundane dreams. If you remove God’s plan of the ages from your understanding, then your spiritual treasure house of hope is left unfulfilled.
According to the view of most Christians, God has no definite, prearranged plan, but is simply endeavoring to do the best He can after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. They think God did not expect Adam to sin. Most people believe if Adam had not sinned, we would all be living in a luxurious Garden of Eden to this very day, in perfect health, no sorrow, always happy and never die. Was there a flaw in God’s original design of Adam and Eve? Did His creation of the first human beings malfunction? Has God been attempting damage control since then? Or did our all wise God create them knowing they would sin? Was it His plan from the beginning that our first parents sin? Yes it was.
Humans need to know both “good and evil”, just as God does. It is one of the most essential requisites in being formed in the image of God. To truly “know” both good and evil they had to partake of its source, which was the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,”. They had to sin to obtain this “knowledge.” Adam and Eve were too weak to resist the temptation to sin. They were carnal, just as we are. And so it was God, and none other than God, Who intended that man sin from the beginning under the influence of Satan. Lets not forget that the tree consisted of good and evil. God created it. Yes He created both good and evil in that tree. This work was begun in Eden, has continued in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as the pattern man of God’s creation, and will be finished in humanity in the “ages to come”.
For us to know what is hot we have to know what is cold, to know what is light we have to know what is dark, to know what is sweet we have to know what is sour. Similarly, to know what is good we have to know what is evil. God never intended for our first parents to live perfectly forever in a weakened spiritual state. They never had righteous spiritual character. It is only through Christ living in a person can he or she overcome the evilness of sin and live righteously.
God’s perfect majestic plan consists of periods of time (eons) to bring about His purpose. His purpose being the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ. The period of time we live in is referred to as this present evil world (eon).
Gal 1:4 (KJV) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (eon in the Greek), according to the will of God and our Father:
Our knowledge of God’s “plan of the ages” depends upon a correct understanding of the meaning of the Greek word Aion , and without a knowledge of that word, we can understand but little of the truth. Hence we need to see how very important is the study of this word.
An Important truth
In this article we examine the second major misunderstanding that people have about what the scriptures say. The first major error was on the topic of Hell which was discussed earlier in this web site. The second concerns the mistranslated of the Greek noun αἰών (Greek transliteration aion) and its adjective form αἰώνιος (Greek transliteration aionios) found in the original sacred text. From the records as far back as we may go, the ablest minds have concluded that there is an English word that can be substituted for the Greek word “aion,” and do justice to the Text, that is by using the word “eon or age” its nearest English equivalent. The word denotes a period of time. The adjective aionion is transliterated to the English equivalent eonian.
We must remember that while God’s words are inspired and refined as though put through a crucible seven times, men’s translations of those words are not inspired. But with translations such as the Concordant Version, Rotherham’s Emphasized Version, the American Standard Version (with marginal notes) and others, and by using such aids as lexicons and concordances of the Hebrew and Greek, we will be able to regain the truth concerning the eons, or ages, spoken of in the Scriptures.
Diligent students of scripture recognize that the words “eternity”, “everlasting, “for ever and ever” are NOT in the Original Text. The original was the word aion or its adjective aionion. The majority are misled by this understanding of these words rendered in the King James Version, “Ever and Ever” . . . “Eternal” . . . “everlasting” . . . “eternity!’ . . . “world without end” . . . etc., with endlessness in mind. It is a faithful few, true to the original, of what God has said, believing that an “eon” does not mean endlessness, but a period of time.
“There is much confusion in the New Testament because the Greek word “Aion” (or Eon) meaning “age” has been translated by 8 different English words in the King James Version, as follows:
Ever’ 30 times;
Ever and Ever’ 21 times;
World’ 35 times;
When the word “age or eon” is substituted for the above, it will be seen that endlessness or eternity is not meant. It is a period of time. Recognizing this, you will be blessed with a deeper understanding of scripture than you would ever have imagined.
The subject of the eons is one of the most vital and interesting which could engage the minds and hearts of those who wish to know God’s Word and His ways. Until this is thoroughly understood we will be perplexed by what God has to say in regard to the final outcome of His purpose. Everyone is urged to study the eons carefully, how many there are and their character and relation to each other. The grand truth concerning the eons and eonian times, now recovered from the Scriptures, will relieve the minds of many sincere people.
But how did this confusion and inconsistency come about? It is hard to believe that the words eternity ,”for ever and ever”, etc. are not in the Holy Scriptures, and that is the truth. We have become so accustomed to the use of these terms in our lives as Christians that we just take them for granted and assume they are accurate.
Before we look at the ages (eons) that God created in His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, look at how the scriptures were corrupted by some theologians, in particular Jerome who wrote the Latin Vulgate. His version served as a basis for many modern bible translations we commonly use.
The record shows that, the Latin Fathers, led by Jerome who gave us the Latin Vulgate, began this departure from the original text; and in the year 696 at Constantinople, a council of the Church publicly condemned this doctrine of the eons.
Had the old English Bibles been translated direct out of the Hebrew and Greek, instead of from the Latin Vulgate Version of Jerome (380 A.D.), it is very probable that the word eternal would never have been found in our modern Bibles and theological terminology at all.
The Greek word aion, a noun, has an adjective, aonion. In the English language eon is the equivalent of the Greek aion and aonion has the equivalent eonian as the adjective. Similar to how we think of various nouns, such as the noun month, which has as its adjective monthly. Anyone with a basic knowledge of grammar (English or Greek) knows that the meaning of a noun and the meaning of the same word in its adjective form must correspond! It cannot have one meaning as a noun and a different meaning as an adjective!
So what you may ask? But just look at how important these words are in the scriptures. First we deal with the word eon in scripture, later its adjective.
One age (eon) or more?
Yes there is more than one eon mentioned in scripture. Most translations will not inform you of that fact. We live in one eon that is called this present evil eon (age). The KJV has the word world instead of eon and that is incorrect. It misleads people.
In the KJV -Gal 1:4 :
Gal 1:4 (KJV) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil age (eon in the Greek), according to the will of God and our Father:
In the Concordant literal version (CLV)
Gal 1:4 Who gives Himself for our sins, so that He might extricate us out of the present wicked eon, according to the will of our God and Father,
This verse shows that at this present time is characterized as ” the present wicked eon”. We live in this present wicked age or eon. We can conclude that from this expression that there are a number of eons, not just the one present, and that some of them are wicked, like this one, while others are not so described.
A coming age or eon?
There is an eon coming after this present one. That impending eon is commonly referred to as the millennium. Righteousness is a notable characteristic of the coming eon. Christ rules on the earth for 1000 years with His saints during the next eon.
In the Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the to come,
Heb 6:5 ( KJV) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world (Greek word aion meaning eon) to come,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world (Greek word aion meaning eon), but also in that which is to come:
In the Concordant literal version (CLV)
Heb 6:5 and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon,
Ephesians 1:21 up over every sovereignty and authority and power and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this eon, but also in that which is impending
Was there a beginning eon ?
The eons (ages) had a beginning and were created by Jesus Christ. He created the eons for the purpose of working out His plan of salvation for humanity. His plan has multiple segments of time called eons. There are five. Some may call these dispensations, but that word can be misleading.
Hebrews 1:2 (KJV) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (Greek word aions meaning eons);
Hebrews 1:2 CLV 2 in the last of these days speaks to us in a Son, Whom He appoints enjoyer of the allotment of all, through Whom He also makes the eons;”
I Cor 2:7 (KJV) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world (Greek word aions meaning eons) unto our glory:
I Cor 2:7 (CLV) but we are speaking God’s wisdom in a secret, wisdom which has been concealed, which God designates before – before the eons, for our glory,
Obvious problem here because the translators of the KJV did not know whether to translate the word eons as plural or singular. They could not translate the Greek word eons as worlds in I Cor. 2:7 as they did in Heb 1:2, since it would make no sense. This is yet another proof of the unreliability of this and many translations.
Each eon (age) has an ending.
For example, the familiar scripture in Mat. 28:
Matthew 28:20 (KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (Greek word aion meaning eon). Amen.
Matthew 28:20 (CLV) teaching them to be keeping all, whatever I direct you. And lo! I am with you all the days till the conclusion of the eon! Amen!”
All eons eventually end.
There is an end to the eons which Christ created. They will have run their course. What then?
1Co. 10:11 (KJV) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the (Greek word aions meaning eons) are come.
1Co. 10:11 (CLV) Now all this befalls them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained.”
Heb 9:26 (KJV) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world (Greek word aions meaning eons) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Hebrews 9:26 CLV since then He must often be suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest.”
Same problem again. Once again the translators of the KJV did not know whether to translate the word eons as plural or singular in 1 Cor 10:11. They could not translate the Greek word eons as worlds since it would make no sense, Yet another proof of many problems with this and most translations we use today.
Two points before we go to the next article in this series concerning God’s plan. The following points will be discussed in the next 2 articles under the heading. “Plan of God”.
There are 5 eons (ages) described in scripture. Grouped together they are called “eonian times” or “times eonian” in scripture. God formulated this plan before He created the physical universe and the eons. Here are the 3 verses referring to” times eonian”.
Rom. 16:25 (CLV) Now to Him Who is able to establish you in accord with my evangel, and the heralding of Christ Jesus in accord with the revelation of a secret hushed in times eonian,
2Ti. 1:9 (CLV) Who saves us and calls us with a holy calling, not in accord with our acts, but in accord with His own purpose and the grace which is given to us in Christ Jesus before times eonian,
Ti. 1:2 (CLV) in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,
Look at the problem of this same verse in the American Standard Version:
Ti. 1:2 (ASV) in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal
The translators of the American Standard and the Revised Version, which are revisions of the King James Bible, realized there were problems in the King James Bible with these words. They therefore made a consistent rendering based not upon the Greek, but upon tradition. They translated that verse in Titus 1:2 “before times eternal.” Now what is that supposed to mean? How can there be times (plural) before eternity? Plain nonsense.
So it is important to have a correct understanding of eonian times in God’s plan for humanity. God has always existed. He is the one who created the angelic host and the physical universe. The purpose of eonian times period is for the wonderful plan of God to bring all humanity into His being defined ultimately as all in all through Jesus the Christ (1 Cor. 15:27 – 28).
Details of the 5 eons which constitute eonian times is given in another article in this series.
It is not only the 5 eons which reveal to us the plan of God for mankind, we have two other scriptural witnesses that verify this truth.
The Holy Days of God as described primarily in Leviticus 23 and elsewhere, give insight to the progression of God’s saving work.
The Tabernacle of God depicts this progression of the eons also. The Tabernacle was a magnificent structure. Most people recognize it as such, but there is much more meaning to this. It is a structure that relates to the five eons as we will see in a subsequent article on the 5 eons.
We have examined the word eon (Greek aion) mostly till now in this article. We mentioned that it has an adjective eonian.(Greek aonion).
The adjective eonian is defined as “pertaining to or belonging to the eons.” It is an axiom of grammar that an adjective derived from a noun cannot mean more than its parent word. It must retain the essential meaning pertaining to the noun. As we saw, the noun refers to limited time, which had a beginning and will have an end. The adjective, then, should not be translated by such words as “everlasting” or “eternal.” The adjective cannot take on a greater meaning than the noun from which it is derived. For example, hourly, an adjective, pertains to an hour, not to a year.
Eonian cannot mean eternal or everlasting. A few problem phrases in the common bible KJV, which will be explained in a other articles include:
everlasting fire or eonian fire Mt. 18:8
everlasting punishment or eonian punishment Mt. 25:46
everlasting God or eonian God Ro. 16:26
eternal glory or eonian glory 2Ti.2:10
The words everlasting or eternal are not in the original text of the Holy Scriptures.
It is clear that Jesus Christ created the eons. When grouped together they are called eonian times in scripture and reveal to us the great master plan for dealing with humanity. Many of verses quoted in these articles will be from a literal translation of the scriptures such as the Concordant Literal version. In that way we will be able to learn more accurately the intended meaning of God’s Word, and not on what some group of scholars think the words should mean.
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