God's Purpose of the Eons or Ages


by Leon A. Bynoe



An Address delivered before the Concordant Students of the Scriptures in the Chapel of the Y. M. C. A., West 135th Street Branch, New York City, Sunday, January 7th, 1945 by Leon A. Bynoe.

This Address is printed as preached, except for such minor changes necessary in transforming the spoken word into the written word.

The Texts: 2 Timothy 1:9 "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 eonian times." Titus 1:l-2 ; "In expectation of eonian life, which God, Who does not lie, promises before eonian times" (Concordant Version).

The "Eonian Times" are but one great part of God's plan in His dealing with the Universe. The "Eons" are the times of evil. At the beginning of the "Eons" sin and death are introduced, and will continue its course until the end of the "Eons," or Consummation. Before the "Eons" we read of no evil manifested; there is no open record of such; and after the "Eons" we find no record of sin and evil, or death, "For the former things shall have been passed away." So here we are confined to the "Eonian Times."


The term, "Eonian" which is derived from the noun "Aion," is familiar to devout students of the Word of God only. The average Christian knows nothing of the stupendous revelation contained in this original God-given term found in the Greek Manuscripts of the holy Scriptures. More and more, we who are custodians of such revelation, must use this term more often so that fellow-believers may become acquainted with the usage of this word, and the fullness of its meaning. From the records as far back as we may go, the ablest minds have concluded that there is no English word that can be substituted for the Greek word "Aion," and do justice to the Text, with but one exception, and that is by substituting the word "age" . . . its nearest English equivalent, which denotes a period of time. But it is more scriptural to use the original word in its pure unadulterated form, since it works no hardship to the English Text, and this is consistent with our use of many Latin words in our English Language.

The word eon is really a transliteration of the Greek aion, a noun, and its adjective aionion, (eonian) describing the kind of times in view. Eonian Times, is a well-founded scriptural term, and not a brain-child of an imaginative mind. This purely Greek word became lost, and the truth concerning the eons had become obscure; and the collapse of the truth of the eons left the way open for pagan error to reassert itself, and fasten itself upon scripture teaching, very quickly after the time of the apostle Paul. No one after him appears to have said a word about it, until these last days, and with very few exceptions in the remote past, such as Herodian, the historian, about the end of the second century; Lactanius, born about 260 A. D.; Eusebius, the historian of the early Church, born about 265 A. D.; Wyclif about 1320. The record shows that, the Latin Fathers, led by Jerome who gave us the Latin Vulgate, began this departure from the original; and in the year 696 at Constantinople, a council of the Church publicly condemned this doctrine of the eons, as proclaimed by Origen as, "drunken ravings as to the future life of the dead." Tyndale, coming one hundred and fifty years after Wyclif gave us in our English Bibles the totally erroneous teaching of endlessness, by the English words Eternal, forever and ever, and everlasting, from the root word in the Greek aion, which means a period of time.

This purely Greek word, spelled with English letters (EON), is used in the scriptures to qualify life, salvation, glory, judgment (or chastening), etc. Quote . . . "For the ration of Sin is death, but God's gracious gift is eonian life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 6:23; and in Heb. 5:9 we read, "And being perfected He became the cause of eonian salvation to all who are obeying Him." Also read Chap. 6: 2, "eonian judgment" . . . and 2 Tim. 2:10 "Eonian glory" (Concordant Version).

The recent revival of the use of this word did not come through the advent of the Concordant Version, for we discover that the Emphatic Diaglott, an earlier translation, uses it consistently, as do other good versions, such as, American Revised, Weymouth, Fenton, Darby, Rotherham, Moffatt, and Goodspeed. I have had in my possession a copy of Clarence Larkin's book, entitled, "Dispensational Truth," designed and written since 1914, and published four years later, and this is what Mr. Larkin, (deceased) formerly of Foxchase, Philadelphia, Pa., has to say in his great work on Dispensational Truth, I quote:-

"There is much confusion in the New Testament because the Greek word "Aion" (or Eon) meaning "age" has been translated by eight different English words, as follows: 'Ages' twice; 'Ever' 30 times ; 'Ever and Ever' 21 times; World' 35 times; 'Worlds' twice; 'Course' once; 'Eternal' twice; and 'End' once. When the word "age" is substituted for the above, it will be seen that not our material world is meant, but a period of time. Take the following for illustration. Matt. 12:32; 13:39-40; Mark 10:30; Luke 20:34-35; Gal. 1:4; 2 Tim. 4:l0; Heb. 6:5; Rev. 20:l0. In the Greek it will be seen that we have the singular "Aion" (or Eon) Matt. 24:3; the plural "Aions" (or Eons) in Eph. 2:7; in Rev. 20:10 "Aions of the Aions," and in Eph. 3:21 "Aion of the Aions." (end of quotation.)

In the above quotation Mr. Larkin proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the inconsistency the revisers who gave us the King James or Authorized Version in dealing with the Greek word "Aion" or Eon. How could it be possible for this one Greek word to cover so many different terms in our English Bibles? Then the fault also lies with our clergy, and the layman is not absolved, because the injunction is to "search the Scriptures" . . . "correctly partition the truth."

Mr. Larkin's book has been scattered in many parts of the Christian world, for the past thirty one years. He is one from among the established churches who had seen the light and dared publish it. Yet, this truth of the eons is as obscure among the believers today, as the light of the glorious gospel was in the dark days of Martin Luther in 1510. I, too, like the mass of Christians, have had this valuable book in my possession for many years, and never paid careful attention to the hidden treasure discovered by Mr. Larkin. He is right when he says, "There is much confusion in the rendering of the King James Version of the New Testament." . . . This has resulted in much confusion among believers everywhere, and today groups of Christians cannot truthfully say with the apostle, Paul, Eph. 4:6, "One Lord, One Faith, one Baptism." . . . There are lords many, faiths many, and baptisms many. What a sad state of affairs in our Christian churches! "We are not divided; all one body we," sung in the popular hymn of the Church is untrue. We are divided, many bodies we. Let us face the truth.


The Student of Scripture should notice that in Matt. 12:32, we have blasphemy of the holy spirit . . . not pardoned in this eon, or that which is future. . . . Although the statement is clear that forgiveness is denied the offender, yet one must be careful to note that this is only during two eons, namely, this eon and the one which is impending. But there is another eon yet to follow, namely, the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The unpardonable sin then is particularly limited to two eons, the present and the next. Beyond that, it. will be forgiven. There is coming a time when God the Father will reconcile the whole Universe to Himself. All sin and evil will not only be forgiven, but completely abolished. This wonderful display of God's grace most Christians are ignorant of, as witness the preaching of today, and the Christian literature circulated dealing with "eternity," a word unknown in the Greek Text, and the setting for the final judgment our modern preachers dispense to the public, and this in high places, among our leading established churches. The fault lies chiefly in the texts of the King James Version, which cast a different and misleading conception on the original truth God intended His people to know.

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The Eonian Times are bounded by the Alpha and Omega--Christ Jesus, and the Consummation. 1 Cor. 15:24.

Christ Jesus, He is before eonian times and He remaineth the same in the glory of the Father, after the eons have run their course. He is the A and Z. The First and the Last, i.e. He is the first and last of God's direct creation. Col. 1:15-16.

If this grand doctrine of the eons becomes known among Christian people, it will be the means of uniting God's people in their common faith, so that we can all speak the same thing. How far apart are we today, the majority misled by the false conception placed on this phrase "eonian times" rendered in the King James Version, "Ever and Ever" . . . "Eternal" . . . "everlast-ing" . . . "eternity!' . . . "world without end" . . . etc., with endlessness in mind; while a faithful few, true to the original, of what God hath said, believing that an "eon" does not mean endlessness, but a fixed period of time. I was awakened to this treasure already in my possession, when God directed our beloved Elder Arthur Benta, who introduced the Concordant Version of the Holy Scriptures to me. Weymouth's, the Emphatic Diaglott, the American Revised Version, Goodspeed's and other good translations, prove that the Editors of the Concordant Version, and all who try to dispense this truth, are backed up by every warranty of Scripture in the Greek Text. One grand thing the Concordant Version does for the English reader, it does not try to substitute anything for the original, but brings the word ("eon") bodily over into the English. This is the advantage of possessing a copy of this version above many others; but other good translations have tried to express this Greek word by rendering it, for example "of the ages" . . . "times of the ages" . . . "life of the ages" . . . "judgment of the ages" . . . etc., such rendering is good, far better than "eternal" or "everlasting" as used in the King James version.


Our Greek-English Lexicons usually define "olm" in the Hebrew, and "Aion" in the Greek, as an indefinite period of time . . . similar to an age.

The tragedy of the King James Translators: Theology so-called has stretched these terms to mean 'forever,' 'evermore,' 'eternal,' 'everlasting,' 'for ever and ever,' 'always,' 'world,' 'eternity,' and 'world without end' . . . with the idea of endlessness in mind: words that are foreign to the sacred Scriptures in their original form. This is the tragedy of the King James Translators, who gave us the so-called Authorized Version. Authorized by whom? King James l., of England. Old English versions were not made from the Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate, between the years 680 and 995. John Wyclif was probably the first person to translate the whole Bible into the English tongue. He was born about 1320, commenced translating 1356 and finished the entire Bible in 1382; two years later he died. He was a true scholar, a bitter opponent to the Roman Church's claims, and while he was in the University at Prague, John Huss came under his influence, and was burned at the stake in 1415 for the faith. The Latin Vulgate version dominated Europe for centuries until Wyclif's time, no one seems to have thought of a Greek original, perhaps, because Latin had taken the place of Greek as the universal language of courts, clergy, and scholars. Wyclif was true to the original, but one hundred and fifty years after, Tyndale led the group of translators who departed from the original, and followed Jerome and the Latin Vulgate. Coverdale's (1535)) Crammer's (1539)) the Genevan (1557) and the Rheims (1582) down to the Authorized Version of 1611. Never once does Wyclif use the expression, "forever," or "for ever and ever ," and he never uses the word "eternal." Tyndale's version followed Wyclif's and it is here for the first time published in English, we find the words, 'for ever,' 'for ever and ever,' 'for evermore,' etc. The Greek church having declined, the Latin church with its own version rose into prominence. But the Latin version was only a translation and therefore, not inspired; it changed the import of certain very important inspired time-words as found in the Greek, and gave them a different shade of meaning. This is the root from whence all the confusion into which we are engulfed and have experienced in the past. The Reformation, which should have given us, first, a Version of the Scriptures, true to the original Greek Text, revising the grevious error of the Latin Church, only reformed along certain lines, and actually confirmed and established the corrupt dogmas of the Roman Church. The American Revised Version should have taken the place of the popular Authorized version, and although in recent years many Hebrew and Greek scholars have given us better versions, yet the mass of Christian people hold on to this version of 1611, and neglect the revelation God has given to those who seek truth, and dare to find out what God has said. The undeniable fact remains that, the Authorized Version was not a translation, but simply a revision of the Bishop's Bible.


"Aion" . . . means a period of time between two great physical and moral cataclysms of the earth and its inhabitants. There are four such great physical and moral changes in the history of the human race, and the earth which the race inhabits, namely, (a) the Disruption, Gen. 1:2; . . . (b) the Deluge, Gen. 6; . . . (c) the Day of Wrath . . . Indignation, Rom. 2:5; . . . (d) and the judgment of fire that will usher in the New heavens and the New earth. Rev. 20; . . . (see illustration page 3). The Eons are set within bounds in the past by the times before the Eons began . . . and in the future . . . by the Consummation (the end). Though these times deal with the longest periods in Scripture, nevertheless, there is always a beginning, and an ending.

It is not necessary to know the Greek tongue in order for a Christian to discover the truth; just a careful search of the present versions at our disposal will convince all whose hearts the Lord has opened; for example:

If the word 'aion' meant 'forever' or 'eternal' in the singular, the plural form would have been an impossibility. Yet the plural is used quite frequently, as seen in Eph. 2:7; . . . "and rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials, in Christ Jesus, in order that, in the on-coming eons, He should be displaying the transcendent riches of His grace"; also in Col. 1:26, we read . . . "the secret, which has been concealed from the eons and from the generations." It would make nonsense if the word "aion" were translated "forever" in Ephesians and in Colossians, for then the mystery or secret could never have been made known. Then again, at one time the word is translated "eternal" . . . meaning endlessness, and in another place the same word is translated, "age" or "world" . . . showing a limited period of time. So what must the student of God's word conclude?


Finally, if the word "aion" meant "forever" or "eternal," there would have been no beginning, as well as no end. Yet we read in 1 Cor. 2:7, "But. we are speaking God's wisdom in a secret, which has been concealed, which God designates before the eons for our glory." Theology so-called, has made the distinction of Time and Eternity, a term never used in the sacred scriptures in the original.

No believer have "eternal" life now, that is, 'immortality" . . . but they are assured by the Saviour, of "eonian"--or "age-lasting life (commonly mis-called "everlasting" or "eternal"), after they have been roused from the death state.

This scriptural word "eonian" accords with God's purpose in grace towards the believer (or members of Christ's Body), because during the on-coming ages, the believer today will assist the Saviour in the work of Reconciliation of the Universe, while the unsaved will remain in the death state. This is the advantage the believer has over the unbeliever. Of course it is solely God's grace, the gift of God, no goodness or holiness on the part, of the believer.

Our role, after we are raptured, i.e. "caught up to meet Him in the air," will be one of service, among the on-heavenlies or celestial creatures throughout the on-coming eons. Eph. 2:7 at the close of the eons, or after the reign of Christ is over, our work of service with Him will also be at an end. This is really the "eonian life" promised to us in the on-coming eons or ages. If we possess immortality now, what need would there be of a resurrection? Why do we have to die? The Apostle Paul says--"this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality" 1 Cor. 15:23, but our personal life will not end by any means, for we shall have then possessed immortality, incorruptibility. For what else could it be, when God becomes All in all, but endless life for us and for all creation. All this may be equivalent to endlessness, but we are cautioned in the scriptures to, "have a pattern of sound words." Since God says, "eonian life," let us not substitute what God has said, in the original, for what Tyndale brought in the English, from the Latin Vulgate of the Roman Catholic Church.

Christ Jesus will present to the Father a perfect Universe, for He must reign until He has accomplished this feat. He will not quit the Throne until He makes it possible for God the Father to become All in all His creatures. Wondrous love . . . Wondrous grace . . . Grace that is greater than all our sin. " Where sin abounded, grace shall super-abound." It is a crying shame that some who profess to know and love Him and show such devotion and zeal in His cause, yet they hate to acknowledge these wondrous truths, and are actually hiding the light under a bushel. They will admit that something is wrong with what we call Christendom today, but they detect a change, and hate to be criticized: so in order to be popular, and have the praise of men, most ministers, in order to have and to hold a large congregation, are not willing to go outside the camp, not willing to bear the suffering and reproach of the cross. But the truth will eventually win, though error runs long and strong. The matter of endlessness is not at all a subject of scripture, but eonian times is the sole theme of the inspired Word.


The Eonian Times are the period of sin and estrangement, but it is also the period God sets apart to bring His rebellious creatures terrestrial and celestial back to Himself. They embrace the entire period of His operation.

The title of our subject is brought to us in two notable passages of Scripture: In 2 Tim. 1:9 and Titus 1:2. "Eonian" is the word used in the original. In both texts the King James version reads, "Before the world began:" a very poor rendering for such an important thought.

What the texts are saying is that there is such a period known as "Eonian Times," but that God's purpose towards us is older than that. It is before "Eonian Times." We are in the very center of the operation of sin and death . . . but it will soon give way to a happy phase of the "Eonian Times"--namely, the reign of Christ, in the last two eons . . . when the complete removal and abolition of the havoc that sin has wrought will take place.

Eonian Times are the period of education in the knowledge of good and evil; Satan is the minister of evil. He occupies the first phase of the eonian times, as seen in Job's day, and to this hour, he is the god of this present wicked eon, Gal. 1:4, which is the third of the five eons. This is ruled over by him, 2 Cor. 4:4, and this eon however, will end his rule. Let us all say, thank our God! In the next eon Satan will be bound, Rev. 20:1-3, for one thousand years; then after a little season, his final doom takes place. His work is finished. Then the next phase of the Eonian Times will be administered by Christ. His ministry will continue until all has been subjected and brought to God, at the conclusion of the eons, 1 Cor. 15:28. His is a ministry of good. Man's history is replete with the facts of the ministry of evil. At present, witness the billions being ear-marked and spent among the great nations of the world in this missile and rocket age for the destruction of human life and property. Suppose a small percentage of this vast sum was spent for the families of the earth, to live in happiness and peace. Billions for war, just a trickle for peace. This is a wicked eon. But the Scriptures are also replete in promise and prophecy of the coming ministry of good for all God's creation in heaven and on earth, under the beneficent rule of Christ. This is one of the meanings of Eonian Times.

Another important reason of the eonian times is that God's creatures may come to know Him now. "It is eonian life that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Him Whom Thou dost commission Jesus Christ ." What an education is this? Only the Saints at present can tell it in part, for now we only know in part, so we cannot tell this wondrous secret in its fullness.

All the various aspects of time mentioned in the Scripture, days, months, years, times, seasons, etc., are all parts of Eonian Times and conform to His purpose of the Eons. The Eons were not eternal in the past . . . they had a beginning. The Eons will not be eternal in the future; they will have a conclusion. God hath spoken to humans, finite beings in periods of time. Only the infinite Mind can conceive of endlessness or eternity. God hath not given us such minds. He has not made eternity a subject of revelation. Eternity is not known in the original Greek Scriptures or Hebrew text. Let us not add to His Word. Go back to God's original. The phrase, "Countless ages of eternity," is unscriptural, unsound.

What a wonderful understanding God we have!

What a wonderful Saviour is Christ Jesus our Lord!

Let us adore Him more and publish glad tidings, tidings of peace--Tidings of Jesus' Redemption and Release. Yes, Eonian Times will terminate in the Reconciliation of the Universe.

Elder A. Benta says: "You will never know how much of the meaning of God's word is hid from you until you understand the subject of the Eons. It is one of the keywords of Scripture that has been hid from view through mistranslation. God's grand and glorious purpose will never be fully understood until we learn that this Greek word "aion" transliterated "eon" by the (Concordant Version), is a time word. That is to say, it does not denote endlessness as it is so often rendered in our common version: ever, forever and ever and world without end."

"Likewise also, its adjective is translated everlasting and eternal. These are wholly mistranslations that hide the truth from the vernacular student."

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