by Bill Boylan

(Some time ago I received from you through the Spirit of The Word Magazine a mimeographed sheet about “time” which was a prophecy given in January, 1973. That prophecy stuck with me for days and weeks and I just couldn’t get it off my mind, It ulti-mately resulted in my writing the enclosed article.)

As the title implies, this article is about two subjects, “Time” and “Eternity.” However, these two subjects are but minute portions of another subject so much broader in scope and greater in importance that this major subject must first be introduced at some length before teaching about time and eternity. That major subject is the controversial truth of the Ultimate Restoration of the entire universe through Jesus Christ! [1]

And to set the stage a bit more fully for discussing time and eternity we must also dwell briefly upon the subject of “Truth.” Jesus Christ is truth; He is the truth, the entire truth, and nothing that is false or of a half-truth or partial truth abides in Him. He said that He is the truth.[2] One believes that He is the truth, and having believed it to be so, one then experiences it to be so. Also, believing Jesus Christ to be the truth, all genuine truth that one subsequently encounters will substantiate Jesus’ sweeping claim to be the truth. Thus, since Jesus Christ is the truth, it logically follows, then. that any portion of truth must ultimately find its source and consummation in Him, and be an integral, intrinsic, and inherent part of His personality and nature. He is the whole of truth; thus, any truth, no matter where it may be found, be it major or minor, significant or insignificant, is but a part of the whole. It is so with the truth of Universal Restoration, and with truth about time and eternity; when properly understood, the biblical truth of Universal Restoration points directly to the wonderful person of the Lord Jesus Christ and to His all-embracing, self-sacrificing atonement for mankind. We trust that as you study this article, the Holy Spirit will open your spiritual eyes and ears and lead[3] you gently to a deeper comprehension of this truth; and that the entrance of truth will bring light, cleansing, and deliverance.

First of all, you must understand that the truth of Universal Restoration is not new; it is not a new teaching to “tickle the ears” or to “deceive the elect.” It is a truth that was held to be axiomatic by the majority of Christians until about the years 325 or 350 AD.[4] It was held by Christians, not many years removed from the apostolic church, who could still read and understand the correct meaning of the New Testament Greek and Aramaic. It is a truth that was slowly buried as non-Christians began to filter into the church beginning at the time of Emperor Constantine, and as the trained clergy began to usurp the priesthood and spiritual understanding of the individual Christian. It is a truth that was covered up and distorted by medieval superstition. It is a truth that was largely forgotten and sometimes viciously opposed as “enlightened” people began to read such Renaissance works as Dante’s Divine Comedy (1265 to 1321) and as many pertinent errors of translation were incorporated into the King James translation of the Bible in 1611 AD.[5] The heinious Inquisition (1480 to approximately 1600), too did much to promote ideas contrary to the truth of Universal Restoration. Then, with the ideas of 19th and 20th century scholarship, biblical hermeneutics, the Bible School movement, eschatalogy, orthodox theology, church creeds, dogmas, and the like, this magnificent truth lay buried and forgotten except by a few of God’s sons who would still receive and perpetuate the truth in spite of vicious opposition.

It is like Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13: 24-38 in which He said the Kingdom of Heaven is like the man who sowed good wheat seed in his field; while the man slept, his enemy came and sowed wild wheat among the good wheat seed. When the plants sprouted, the servants reported to the farmer that there was wild wheat with the good, The farmer replied, “An enemy has done this.”

In the early church, the truth of Universal Restoration was sown by the apostles. elders, and teachers. Then, during the Dark Ages (500-1450) while the church “slept,” the enemy sowed much false and distorted teaching, untruths, partial truths. and half truths. An enemy has done this. And now as this age of night ends and as a new kingdom morn breaks upon us, we are able to discern properly between the truth and that which is not truth, that which is of the enemy.

No, Universal Restoration is not a new teaching; it is merely an old truth (much like that of the baptism in the Holy Spirit) which has just been largely buried, forgotten, or distorted for almost 1500 years.

Now, during the overlapping years as this age ends and the next age begins, “the long. long night is past, the dawn advances fast,” and God’s people’ by the thousands are beginning to once again understand and embrace the biblical truth of Universal Restoration.

It is felt by many that this truth is only now being exhumed by the Holy Spirit at this point in history as simply a part of God’s overall plan for the end of this present age--so that the age will finish and close as it began: with the whole truth restored to the whole church.

For now, as is the case with much restored biblical truth, we still see this particular truth only through a glass darkly; [6] we see only bits and pieces of it, but these bits and pieces are enough to cause us to feel that the biblical truth of Universal Restoration will be one of the most significant portions of truth to re-emerge at the end of this age.

As a studied, enlightened opinion (not as a prophecy), we “predict” that in God’s sovereign timing, this will be the capstone of truth that will finally totally liberate God’s sons and set them free as they march into full sonship in the ages to come. (Please remember, as stated earlier, that when we speak of this truth or of any truth, we are actually speaking about some aspect of the nature and person of the Lord Jesus Christ.); it is the truth that will serve as the “blueprint” to liberate and reconstruct the entire universe in the ages to come and in eternity; it is the truth that will ultimately cause all created beings to see God as He really is: Sovereign of Time and Eternity; King of the Universe; He Who will be All in All; Greater Potentate of lesser Princes, Kings, and Lords; the Mighty God!

It is terribly unfortunate that so many of God’s people are so bitterly opposing and rejecting the truth of Universal Restoration, however. And doing so without a fair hearing or without diligently examining the scriptures for themselves to see if these things be so.[7] It is probably being more bitterly opposed than any other re-emerging truth since the Reformation, (As a point of interest, Martin Luther, the leader of the Reformation, embraced wholeheartedly the truth of Universal Restoration.)

Our own personal experience when we first encountered this truth a few years ago was to completely reject it; but then because we loved and trusted the brother who presented it to us from the scriptures, we spent an entire summer studying the subject on our own with just the Bible as our textbook. From the scriptures alone, we are now convinced of the complete veracity of the biblical teaching that the entire universe will one day be restored to God, that all created spiritual beings everywhere will ultimately be conformed to the exact image of God’s begotten Son, for that is, and always has been, God’s ultimate plan for His creation.

To aid you in further study of this subject of which we have given but a broad outline, we recommend the following sources for books, publications, tapes, other addresses, and articles; they cover the subject in much more depth than this article:

1. The Pittsburgh Bible institute, RD 1, Box 391, Gibsonia, PA 15044. (Especially their book, Is Hell Eternal or Will God’s Plan Fail)
2. Mr. George R. Hawtin, Box 339, Battleford, Sask., Canada. (Especially his monthly publication, The Page)
3. Mr. Ed Gregory, General Delivery, Eupora, Miss. 39744. (Especially his bi-monthly magazine, The Spirit of the Word)
4. Mr. Don Derksen, 2321 Valley Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701. (Mr. Derksen has written a particularly cogent and informative 29-page mimeographed paper entitled "The Second Death and Hell.")
5. Scripture Studies Concern, Box 468, Montclair, Ca. 91763 (Especially God’s Ultimate and The Second Death by A. E. Saxby, --- Christ Triumphant by Allin and The Restitution of All Things by Andrew Jukes.)
6. Ray Prinzing, Box 5822, Boise, Idaho 83705. (Especially his three books on Sonship and The Plan of the Ages)

Now, after a rather lengthy introduction, let us turn to our consideration of the two subjects “time” and “eternity” as being an integral part of the truth of Universal Restoration. We shall attempt to study these two subjects separately from one another, but, of necessity, there is much overlapping of the two. When we consider the subject of time, we shall also study other concepts that are temporal, non-absolute, and relative.

Only the Holy Spirit can teach us in-depth about time and eternity, and we earnestly ask that you will call upon Him to fill in the many, many gaps in our ownunderstanding as we have written this article. We freely admit that there is so much we don’t yet understand. . .so much of the whole truth that the entire Body of Christ has yet to be given by revelation and illumination of the Holy Spirit. . .so much of God’s plans for time and eternity that only time to come and eternity can clarify for us. . .

Now let us consider the subject: Time. To do so, we will also consider such terms as “infinity,” “space,” the “universe,” and that part of the late Dr. Albert Einstein’s “theory of relativity” which we laymen can readily understand.

A concept you must immediately grasp at the outset is that time is a created phenomena consisting of past, present, and future just as man is a created phenomena having youth, middle age, and old age. No, you cannot smell, touch, or feel time, but it is there, ever-present, always marching into the future. Time was created; it had a beginning, it shall have an end. It is only one “thing” among countless other “things” that are part of the entire created universe. It is as much a ‘species” of creation as, for example, rocks, elephants trees, and water are species of creation. Before the creation of the universe. there was no time; at the end of the ages when the present material creation is dissolved and replaced by a new, basically spiritual universe[8], time shall cease to be. It will be swallowed up into eternity just as all death (the first death and the second death, which is the lake of fire[9]) will be swallowed up into victory [10] and cease to be. Time--composed of milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millenniums, ages, and eons--was created in the beginning, and will be dissolved at the end of the ages.

This phenomena called time was created by God for man. Why? To aid fallen man in accommodating himself to this material and temporal plane of existence and to aid him in numbering his days in preparation for a new, totally spiritual existence beyond time, beyond the last age, in a state of existence called eternity. Man will one day pass from a gross, largely material existence into a glorious spiritual existence; time serves only to aid man--to give him time, so to speak - to prepare for that new state of being.

A proper understanding of time as a created phenomena having beginning and ending is an absolute prerequisite to a proper understanding of eternity.

Time, then because it is a created phenomena can be studied to some extent just as any other part of the creation of God can be studied. For example, we know by definition what time is: “A system for measuring duration.” We know how to measure it: With chronometers ranging from incredibly precise atomic clocks to Mickey Mouse watches. We know how it functions by its effects in passing: maturity, decay. corrosion, erosion, deterioration, and the like.

An entirely new learning discipline for the study of time has been established by the Theory of Relativity “discovered” by the late Dr. Einstein. Forpurposes of this article. we understand from his famous theory that time and space are interdependent, inseparably related, and form a four-dimensional continuum (length, height, depth, and duration). That is to say, there is no space without time, no time without space. Space cannot be traversed without the passage of time: without the passage of time, there is no traversing of space. That is why (to furnish only one hasty example) in His post-resurrection, spiritual body, Jesus was able immediately to transcend and traverse the space-time continuum with the speed of thought. By Christ’s power, space and time cohere and consist.[11] Without His binding power, space and time would become nonexistent. Also, since we know from the Bible that space is created, we can then deduce that time is created. too. We can also surmise that both time and space (as we presently know them) will end together at the end of the ages. Is not this what the Bible means when we read such passages as: “From whose presence the heaven and earth fled away. The elements will melt with a fervent heat, We look for new heavens and a new earth. . . The sky shall be rolled up as a scroll."[12]

In this regard, too, we must consider whether or not time and space are infinite. And, if so, whether or not something that is infinite is necessarily eternal. By definition, space is the expanse in which all material things are contained; we have already defined time; infinity is to say that something lacks known and/or measurable limits or bounds, not that something has no limits or bounds. We believe that space and time do have limits and bounds, but these bounds simply cannot be measured by presently known “instruments.” Space, time, and the universe (the present material universe, not the new, spiritual universe to come) are infinite, but only in the sense that they cannot be measured by finite man. They are not infinite in the sense of being eternal.

The stage is now set for our brief study of Eternity. Please understand at the outset of this portion of our article that the strictest, non-theological definition of eternity is merely: “A state of being.” We shall see that it is much more than that, but that it is a state of being first and foremost must be kept in mind; in other words, it is not a created phenomena, a “thing,” as is time.

In all candor, too, we must honestly state that the Bible says very little by way of a definition of eternity because the Bible is essentially a book of time and for time. It was written for man who is temporal and who is not yet a totally eternal being. Only when we enter that state of being called eternity. . . only when He who is Eternity becomes “All in All” in us. . . only when time ends and is swallowed up into eternity. . . only when eternity becomes an absolute reality to us. . . only when we are spiritually metamorphosized into our eternal milieu. . . only then will formerly temporal beings such as we now are begin to comprehend and understand eternity and matters of an eternal nature. We stated that the Bible is relatively silent about what eternity is; that is not to say that human teachings and theology haven’t taught us a great deal about eternity, but, alas, much of it over the past 1500 years or so has come from the carnal mind and not from the mind of the Eternal One via the Holy Spirit. Praise God for the true teaching ministry of the Eternal Spirit!

We read in the Bible that God is the Eternal Father, or, more literally, the Father of Eternity.[13] He is called so in the sense that He is the originator and sustainer of eternity. In short, eternity is part of Him; He is eternity; eternity is in God. Next in our consideration of eternity, we must completely and absolutely jettison the idea of time as having anything to do with eternity. Time and eternity are two separate entities; they are diametrical to one another in an absolute sense.

Eternity is a state of absolute timelessness, not of unending time. Eternity is a state of being, resident in the very nature and person of God in which such concepts as past, present, future, “before,” “after,” minutes, hours, and years do not exist. There are no endless ages in eternity; the ages will end; eternity has no ages--they are alien concepts in eternity. Time and eternity have no relationship with one another just as “up” or “down,” for example, have no relationship with “light” or “dark.” The terms are mutually exclusive. Time is not part of eternity just as “up” is notpartof “light,” nor is eternity composed of endless segments of time or of unending ages.

We may seem to be laboring excessively and in great detail merely to illustrate the differences between time and eternity, but it is absolutely essential that you understand those differences before you can really begin to comprehend what the Bible really teaches, for example, about eternal life and eternal punishment. Our continual prayer as we have written this article is that the Holy Spirit will “open the eyes of your understanding” to these differences between time and eternity. He alone can do so.

Do you have it yet? Do you see? Time is not part of eternity; eternity is not composed of segments of time. Eternity is not time standing still; it is simply not time at all. Eternity doesn’t go on and on and on, ad infinitum. Eternity doesn’t go anywhere, nor does it do anything; Eternity simply is. It is as ludicrous and foolish to say that eternity goes on and on and on as it is to say, for example, that Texas goes on and on and on; Texas doesn’t go anywhere or do anything; Texas simply is a “state” in which people exist. So it is with eternity. Time is created. It is extra-eternal in the same sense that we say something is extra-biblical. Time is a measurable, fixed, limited, created phenomena. Eternity is part of the very nature and person of God. Eternity transcends beyond our knowing anything having to do with time. Eternity simply is, just as God simply is. The expression: “It is that it is” has peculiar reference to eternity just as “I AM that I AM” has peculiar reference to God; or, just as Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” it can be said of eternity: “Before time was, I AM.” For our next point we shall now consider only briefly the definitions of such biblical terms as “forever,” “everlasting,” “eternal, ” and related words. For a completely exhaustive study of these terms, be sure to study the literature we mentioned earlier in this article. We only touch upon these terms here.

In over 500 places in the Bible where you find such terms in the English language as “forever,” “eternal,” “everlasting,” and the like, they have with very few exceptions been incorrectly translated (especially in the King James Version of the Bible) from the original languages. “Forever” can most often be rendered as “age-lasting,” or “continuing for the ages”; “forever and ever” should be read as “for the age(s) of the ages”; “eternal” and “everlasting” should be “age lasting” or “enduring for the ages.” The Amplified Bible has gone a long way in correctly translating many such words, but there are still many, many which are translated incorrectly. What we are simply saying is that these words are all temporal words expressed in temporal languages, fallen languages of a fallen race of beings, languages that are wholly inadequate to express and define that which is eternal.

In the original languages, the biblical emphasis on such words seems to be upon the quality and purpose of such words rather than upon an “unending” duration. In other words, “eternal life” or “eternal fire” means the nature or quality or purpose of the life or fire rather than upon their length. Eternal life is the very life of God, a’ life the seed of which we now possess and which will come to full fruition in eternity when the ages of time have ceased. Eternal fire or fire which burns “forever and ever” speaks of a fire which has the quality of purging, disciplining, correcting, and cleansing, but which shall burn itself out for lack of fuel at the end of the ages. True, the Bible says that such fire is unquenchable, meaning that it cannot be put out or extinguished by external means, but which will simply burn itself out when it has consumed all the “combustible” material (such as wood, hay and stubble in I Corinthians 3) and has served its purpose.

The emphasis is upon the fire’s purpose, not upon its duration.

We give only these few examples of such words and expressions. An exhaustive--and startlingly convincing--personal study can he made of every such word in the Bible with the use of a good concordance.

Let us begin to summarize this article. It can be readily seen that both time and eternity are concepts beyond total comprehension by fallen and carnal human beings; even under the pure teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, our minds and understanding are too limited.

Nevertheless, even a dim understanding of such concepts will help change our images and preconceived notions of space, time, the universe, God’s nature and personality, God’s “size,“ God’s inherent et ern a l i ty, o ur own fu tur e eternality.

God is cultivating within His people an eternal nature, a nature no longer rigidly bound to and regulated by time, by clocks, by seasons, by cycles.

The thoughts of God’s people are becoming boundless and eternal, no longer controlled and motivated purely by carnal memories of the past, by present events, or by dim hopes for an endless future in the “sweet bye and bye.”

The Body of Christ on earth is becoming age-less, is being caught up to God and to His throne, is becoming truly and genuinely eternal in every aspect and in every respect.

The fledgling eternal spirits of God’s sons are fast growing up into the limitless expanses of God’s own eternal, spiritual nature.

Yes, the whole man is becoming a new, eternal creation, no longer limited by the space-time continuum.

God’s maturing sons see the reality of a state of being called eternity and their hearts strain and leap upward toward that ‘place ” in God.


1. This truth is also known as Ultimate or Universal Reconciliation, all man-made titles given to this important biblical teaching.
2. John 14:6
3. John 16:13
4.This list is given merely to point out the simple fact that the early Christians did embrace this truth. These are names of only a few of the leaders of the early church who lived from just a few years after the apostles up until the time when Emperor Constantine proclaimed that Christianity would become the official religion of the Empire:
A. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, 130 to 200 AD.
B. Clement of Alexandria, 150 to 220 AD.
C. Theophilis, Bishop of Antioch from 169 to 181 AD.
D. Origen, one of the greatest theologians of the early church, 185 to 254 AD.
E. Eusebius, great early church historian, 265 to 340 AD.
F. Gregory, Bishop of Constantinople, 330 to 390 AD.
G. Gregory of Nyssa, an important figure in the Council that formed the Nicene Creed in 325 AD.
5. We are not suggesting that the King James Bible is full of error, merely that as regards our particular subject at hand, there are many errors of translation.
6. I Corinthians 13:12
7. Acts 17:ll
8. I Peter 3:11-13
9. Revelation 20:14
10. I Corinthians 15:54
11. Colossians 1:17
12. There are many other such passages; we list merely some “key” references: Revelation 10:6, Revelation 20:11, I Peter 3:12, 13, Revelation 6:14
13. Isaiah 9:6

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