the five eons (ages)
God’s plan for the salvation of mankind by Jesus Christ consists of working that plan through the eons (ages). It was conceived in the heart of God who purposed all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11). That plan is being accomplished one step at a time in each succeeding age.
Ephesians 3:11 (Diaglott) according to a plan of the ages, which he formed in Anointed Jesus the Lord of us;
In the previous article on “The Plan of God” we examined scriptures that revealed that the plan has 5 eons (ages), also referred to in scripture as “eonian times”. As far as we know, the Bible indicates 5 distinct eons.
Our all-wise heavenly Father planned the events of each successive eon from the very first one unto the last one culminating in the consummation. If you remove God’s plan of the eons from your understanding, then your spiritual treasure house of hope will be incomplete.
Understanding God’s plan opens to us entirely new and greater vistas of the love, wisdom and power of God. It is not any longer a question of the Church working to get souls saved, but it has become the reality of God working out His plan and purpose for all people through the eons He created.
All the eons are created for Jesus the Christ.
Hebrews 1:2 (ECB) and in these final days speaks to us in Son: whom he placed heir of all; through whom also he made the eons:
The 5 eons are:
the Disruption, Gen. 1:2
the Deluge, Gen. 6
the Day of Indignation, Rom. 2:5
the judgment Rev. 20
This entire long phase is called eonian times in scripture. Though these times deal with long periods, nevertheless, each one of the five always has a beginning, and an ending. Every ending has a calamitous effect.
The first eon
This first eon that began with the creation of the physical universe. After completing their planning and design, God (Elohim) formed physical laws, matter, and life by converting spirit into the physical universe. Man had not been created yet.
HEB 11:3 (KJV) – the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Genesis 1:1 (CLV) Created by the Elohim were the heavens and the earth.
Isaiah 45:18 (CLV) For thus says Yahweh, Creator of the heavens; He is the Elohim, and Former of the earth, and its Maker, and He, He established it. He did not create it a chaos. He formed it to be indwelt. “I am Yahweh, and there is none else.”
Isaiah 45:18 (KJV) For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
The physical universe was not created in state of chaos. It became that way at some time after the initial creation This event is often referred to as the disruption.
Genesis 1:2 (CLV) Yet the earth became a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos. Yet the spirit of the Elohim is vibrating over the surface of the water.
The Concordant translates the Hebrew as became chaos and vacant.
The King James translates the Hebrew as it became without form and void.
The earth was “perfect” when it was created, but something catastrophic happened afterward. The earth became a chaos and void. Physical evidence for the disruption abounds in the geology of the earth, which predates the great flood of Noah’s time by millions of years. Some people believe that the disruption occurred when Satan was brought into existence to play his part as the Adversary of God. God allowed him to unleash his destructive power to cause the disruption. It may well have been a time that the pre-historic creatures roamed the earth, all of which perished in the cataclysm.
Now God would renew the surface of the earth and make it ready for His creation of man.
Psalms 104:30 (CLV) You send forth Your spirit; they are created, And You renew the face of the ground.”
The second eon commences with the renewal of the earth and the creation of everything necessary for man and his existence, including man himself.
The second eon
A long time after the disruption God renewed the face of the earth in preparation for his supreme creation.
Genesis 1:3 – 5 (CLV) And saying is the Elohim, “Become light!” And it is becoming light.4 And seeing is the Elohim the light, that it is good. And separating is the Elohim between the light and the darkness. 5 And calling is the Elohim the light “day, and the darkness He calls “night.” And coming is it to be evening and coming to be morning, day one.
Then God (Elohim) continues creating for the next six days as we read in the verses Gen 1:2- 26. ). How long ago did this stage of creation take place? Many believe that according to the Bible the creation of the physical universe was only about 6,000 years ago. However, the text allows for a different interpretation. A close examination of the Scriptures reveals that there could have been a long period of time between the original creation of the earth and the re-creation of all that was on it described in Genesis 1:3-31.
There are some very strong proponents of a day being a literal 24 hour period. This is a point of considerable contention. The day can also be understood as a Hebrew idiom, representing an unknown length of time. The Hebrew word is YOM (H3117). The concordances indicate it has a wide range of meanings, not just a 24 hour period. A good web site which discusses this topic including the meaning of sunrise to sunset is:
So in the first and second chapters of Genesis are described the beginning of mankind in the Garden of Eden. It is interesting that despite this being a Paradise where Adam and Eve lived in the presence of God, Satan existed even in this place. The serpent lived in their midst, and had access to Adam and Eve so as to tempt them. This was not a neutral setting, where Adam and Eve would simply live in obedience to God. The evil one lived among them, and tempted them. We know what happened.
Thus began the deterioration of man. Once expelled from the Garden, mankind follows a steady course of sin and self-destruction. Cain kills Abel. Evil runs rampant. Mankind degenerates to such a great degree that God destroys them all in a great flood, also called the Deluge. This most certainly does not mean that God made a mistake in this second eon because of what happened. But it does tell us that without knowledge of God and His ways leads to ruin. Sin results in death.
In Genesis 6 we find the wicked being destroyed and only the righteous Noah and his family surviving. Thus end the second eon and the third eon commences.
The third eon
The third eon emerged from that watery destruction with a new beginning. We are presently in that third eon.
It began when Noah and his family exited the ark. It is interesting that he and his family are unique because they lived in the previous eon as well as the present one. The long third eon will end when the greatest tribulation ends with the return of Jesus Christ as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
From Noah and his sons, the earth was repopulated greatly. But we read on, and mankind continues to be sinful and do evil. At Babel (Genesis 11) God finds it necessary to confuse the tongues of mankind, and scatter rebellious mankind.
God then began to deal with specific individuals and nations as part of His plan. Abraham was called and was given unconditional promises of blessings for mankind. The nation of Israel was formed and they were to be an example to the other nations around them. They failed. Jesus Christ was born from the nation of Israel and became the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.
This third eon is remarkable because it is the age where Satan is ruler of the world and also the age of grace. When this eon ends, the fourth eon begins and is the millennium.
The fourth eon
The fourth eon will begin with Jesus Christ taking ruler ship of the earth with His resurrected saints for 1000 years and disposing of Satan for this time period. This fourth eon is described as the coming eon or the impending eon in scripture.
There are many scriptures in the Old Testament as well as the New giving information on this righteous rule of Christ on the earth for 1000 years. It is a time when swords will be beaten into plowshares, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, the wolf shall dwell with the lamb. It will be a time of peace and prosperity.
Rule of Christ will be with a rod of iron.
Righteousness will reign. Sins by people will continue because of carnal human nature. But the sins will not be of the severity as in the previous eons under the sway of Satan (Isa. 30:21). Note that some of the gentile nations will not be in total subjection to Christ’s rule since we read in Zachariah 14 that there will be nations that will refuse to come to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. They will experience drought on the land.
After the 1000 years are over, Satan is loosed for a while, deceiving the nations.
Rev 20:1 (KJV) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 (KJV) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 (KJV) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev 20:4 (KJV) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Thereafter the fifth and final eon begins. It commences with the new heavens and new earth, resurrection of the rest of the dead and the White Throne Judgement.
The fifth and final eon
This last eon is mentioned primarily in the last 3 chapter of Revelation. It is also alluded to in 2 Pet. 3. The last eon is when God the Father descends from Heaven to dwell with mankind.
2 Peter 3:10 (KJV) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2 Peter 3:11 (KJV) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2 Peter 3:12 (KJV) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2 Peter 3:13 (KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Rev. 20:11 (KJV) 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.
The white throne occurs at the last eon. It is the time of the resurrection of the rest of the dead. It is the resurrection to judgement. It will also be a time of peace and joy, and all unrighteousness will be removed.
Rev 20:12 (KJV) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 (KJV) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
It is surprising that most students of the Scriptures practically ignore this last eon. Perhaps because it seems so distant and obscure. Much more is made of the millennium when Christ rules with His saints on the earth after the great tribulation of the third eon.
The last eon is when the rest of the dead are resurrected and the earth is renewed with fervent heat, heavenly Jerusalem descends to earth. This is the time of the white throne judgement for all resurrected mankind. God dwells with mankind (still flesh) during the final eon and judges from His white throne in righteous judgement. This eon is a time when mankind will dwell in peace and harmony under the ruler ship of Christ (no rod of iron in this eon).
We are told in Revelation that in this eon there is no need for the sun, people will not die during this eon because of access to the tree of life, there will be fruit of trees for healing of nations. No more death because of taking the tree of life during this eon.. It is evident from this that a tree of life can counteract the effects of mortality. It imparts life, which is the opposite of the death which operates in us. God did not want Adam to live indefinitely and in this last eon He does want the sons of mankind to live. So He provides a tree of life in the very center of the paradise to come.
The fact that there will be no more death on the earth is only hindered by the presence of the tree of life. The last eon will be one of exceptional earthly blessedness.
Rev 21:1 (KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 (KJV) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 (KJV) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 (KJV) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
At the end of this last eon, the consummation occurs. The consummation is not described in revelation but in I Cor. 15. The consummation is when God becomes All in All. It is at the conclusion of eonian times.
1 Cor 15:26 (KJV) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1 Cor 15:27 (KJV) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1 Cor 15:28 (KJV) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
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