ASK Commentary
November 1, 2004 

Ages Article online

Commentary for November 1, 2004 —November Newsletter and Article

Time is the subject of this month’s November 2004 Newsletter and Article which are now on the ASK Website. This month’s article is titled “The Time Periods of Salvation?” In this article (and subsequent articles with additional material) it is made plain that the time periods, called ages, are an important part of God’s creation. Of course, all creation comes from God the Father through Jesus Christ (John 1:1–3), as the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian ekklesia:

“But to us there is but one God, the Father,
of whom are all things, and we in him;
and one Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things, and we by him.
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge.”

1 Corinthians 8:6–7

Everything, time included, is part of that creation.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [Greek aions, ages].”

Hebrews 1:1–2

What Is an “Age”?

An age (aion in Greek) is a period of time with a beginning and an end, although the duration of the time period and the exact time of the beginning or end is sometimes indeterminate. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, made the “ages” just like the other rudiments of physical creation such as birds, trees, rocks, and man. In fact, one of the “ages” is denoted as being unique in its designation as being an evil age:

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world [Greek aion, age], according to the will of God and our Father.”

Galatians 1:3–4

The aions or the “ages” are part of the creation of God. Time also is a creation of God, manifested in the periods called “ages.” Not surprising Christ is the center of that creation of time, the center of the “ages,” just as He is the center of the Word of God. (See the “Diagram: The Symmetry of the Bible” at the introductory webpage for Dr. Martin’s book at Restoring the Original Bible.

Oscar Cullmann clearly recognized this in his book Christ and Time: The Primitive Christian Conception of Time and History (trans. by Floyd Filson, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1950, pp. 17 & 21) where he explains that Christ’s incarnation and birth, His life, His work, His death, His resurrection and His ascension are the central crisis or decisive point of time in the “ages,” just like it is the crisis point of the salvation process. Christ is the center of history.

In fact, the creation of time and the “ages” is for the sole purpose of constantly referencing Christ and His work in the redemptive process (Cullmann, p. 54). Once the salvation of all has been accomplished and God has become “all in all” then the ages will have their end. In the resurrection and judgment mankind will look back and see that all of history was leading up to Christ:

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world [aions, ages] has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 3:9

“Even the mystery which has been hid from ages
[aions] and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Colossians 1:26

After Christ, all of history shows the Lordship of Christ through the completion of God’s plan in the “ages,” accomplished through Christ’s work. God’s words and actions last for the age (1 Peter 1:25).
“And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages [aions] to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:6–7

Christ is sovereign over the ages and he shall rule for the remaining ages (Luke 1:33 and Hebrews 13:8). He is the king of the ages:
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting [aionian, age-lasting]. Now unto the King eternal [of the aion, age], immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever [aions of the aions, ages of the ages]. Amen.”

1 Timothy 1:15–17

God’s creation of the ages and the system of time that they display is important to the Gospel of Christ. Time has a beginning and an end. Each age has a beginning and an end. Some ages are successive, some are contiguous and overlap. The ages will end and time will end when God becomes all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28) and the Kingdom of Christ is given to the Father after the subjection of all to Christ (Philippians 2:10–11).

Your life during this current evil age (Galatians 1:4) will be useful to God, and you will greatly benefit, if you study carefully “The Time Periods for Salvation” and the doctrine of the ages.

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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