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"Now unto the king of the aions." 1 Tim. 1:17.
"Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present aion." 2 Tim. 4:10.
"By whom also he made the aion." Heb. 1:2.
"Thy throne, O God, is for the aion." ("of the aion" not authentic.) Heb. 1:8.
"And have tasted .... the powers of the action to come." Heb. 6:5.
"But now once in the end (lit. conjunction) of the aions." (overlapped). Heb. 9:26.
"Through faith we understand that the aions were framed." (adjusted).1
"Both now and for the day of the aion." 2 Pet. 3:18.
"Both now and throughout all the aions." Jude 25.
"The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for aions of aions." Rev. 14:11.
"Her smoke rose up for the aions of the aions. Rev. 19:3.
"Shall be tormented day and night for the aions of the aions." Rev. 20:10.
"They shall reign for the aions of the aions." Rev. 22:5.
Notice that we have the singular aion, the plural aions and aion of aions (a great aion composed of aions), and the multiplied form aions of aions.
An action has an end (see Mat. 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3; 28:20), and as another follows (see Mat. 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30 and 20:35; Eph. 1:21), it must have a beginning. The end of one and beginning of another overlap so that Paul could say "the ends of the aions have come upon us." 1 Cor. 10:11. There are many aions,1 both in the past2 and in the future.3
(1) Heb. 11:3. Through faith from ages (aions) and from we understand that the worlds generations, but now is made (aions) were framed by the manifest to his saints.
word of God, so that things (3) Eph. 2:7. That in the
which are seen were not made of ages (aions) to come he might
things which do appear. show the exceeding riches of his
(2) Col. 1:26. Even the grace, in his kindness toward mystery which hath been hid us, through Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the King of the aions,* and they are all made by Him5 according to a Divine Plan, see Greek, "purpose (or plan) of the aions."8
The diagram is intended to illustrate a minute section of this infinite plan, showing seven of the aions. The diverging lines represent the increase of population suddenly cut down to eight at the flood and to be again greatly reduced at the close of the present dispensation.7
1. Eden the aion of Innocence terminating in the expulsion.
2. Antediluvian, the aion of freedom (conscience, the only restraint) terminating in the flood and reduction of the race to the eight persons of Noah and his family. During this aion Enoch is caught up, a type of the coming rapture of the Church.
3. Post-diluvian, the aion of government, man put under civil authority,8 terminating in the destruction of Sodom.
4. Patriarchal, the pilgrim aion,9 terminating in the overthrow of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea.
5. Mosaic, the Israelitish aion, terminating in the crucifixion and destruction of Jerusalem. In this Elijah becomes another type of the rapture.
6. Christian, the aion of mystery, terminating in the
(4) 1 Tim. 1:17. Now unto the King eternal (of the aions), immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(5) Heb. 1:2. 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 (aions).
Also Heb. 11:3.
(6) Eph. 3:11. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
(7) Rev. 9:18. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
Also Zech. 13:8, 14:12-13; Rev. 14:18-20, 19:19-21.
(8) Gen. 9:5. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
(9) Heb. 11:13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
great tribulation,10 the coming of the Lord, the Judgment of Nations,11 and another great reduction of the world's population. During this aion the Jews are scattered among all nations.12
7. Millennium, the aion of manifestation, (Rom. 8:19) terminating in Satan's last deception and the Judgment of the great white throne.13
Beyond this is the New Heavens and New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness,14 probably the beginning of another series of aions. For, these seven make a week of aions, corresponding to the expression in Eph. 3:21, aion of aions, or' one great aion composed of these seven aions. And, in harmony with the weeks of years appointed unto Israel (Lev. 25:8-11), other great aions are to follow corresponding to the expression aions of aions. See Gal. 1:5 and the other passages cited above. Possibly the fiftieth aion may be like the Jubilee of Lev. 25 and then again, aions of aions. See lower section of diagram.
But, says one, if aions are measured periods then all aions are measured, and there will be an end to the sorrows of the ungodly,15 and the glory and dominion of the Lamb
(10) Matt. 24:21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
(11) Matt. 25:31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
(12) Amos 9:9. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain tall upon the earth.
Lu. 21:24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
(13) Rev. 20 :11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12-15 See page 105.
(14) Isa. 65 :17. For, behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
2 Pet. 3 :13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Also Isa. 66 :22; Rev. 21:1.
(15) Rev. 14:11. And the smoke of their torment ascends- eth up for ever and ever: (aions of aions) and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the and his saints.16 No, beloved! for the best idea we mortals can have of infinity or eternity is that of continual measurement, and this is exactly the idea conveyed by the indefinite expression aions of aions.
It will be noticed in the diagram that the aions are not of the same duration, but each marks a change in God's method of dealing with mankind. Probably the aions of the past, the Hebrew olams of the Old Testament mark the geological periods of the earth and the various eras in the development of the universe. And as the past has been an orderly unfolding of creation and revelation of the Creator, so shall the future be, not a limitless action called eternity, but a limitless succession of aions measuring infinite duration. Time is the measure of eternity and eternity is the continued measurement of time. Take for instance a yard stick, and it measures only three feet. But turn it over and over and over, and you pass around the world, out to the moon, the sun, the stars, the farthermost nebula, and all the limits of imagination, and still the little measure goes on and on into the unthinkable. In like manner the Scriptural succession of aions measures eternity.
The events at the beginning of this present aion, viz.: the crucifixion and ascension of our Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit are well understood. The events at its close constitute
"The Time of the End"
and are briefly as follows: The descent of the Lord with a shout, the resurrection of those who sleep in Jesus, the
beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rev. 20:10. And the devil, that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (aions' of aions).
(16) Rev. 1:6. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and
Rev. 11:15. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (aions of aions).
Rev. 22 :5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign