Observation of Manifestations in Time from
the Viewpoint of Actualization in Eternity
by Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministry
The Apostle Peter in writing to Jewish believers posed a very interesting and relevant question in II Peter 3:11, wherein he states “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all separated manner of time and godliness”. If this is deemed to be relevant in Peter’s era, it should now be considered an essential question and statement to the elect of God in this dispensation, the Grace Church age. Full knowledge of God’s plan, purpose and will should dramatically impact informed thinking and influence such actions as we move into the actualized concepts of what eternal existence encompasses. In placing into true perspective the essence of time, as God has creatively scheduled the manifestation of His will, consider what the Apostle Paul conveys in Romans 13:11-2 and Ephesians 5:14-16. These verses convey the eternal Heavenlies view of manifestation’s purposed functionalities in the Time Capsule as such are scripturally observed in their occasions. This knowledge comprises the ammunition and armor utilized in warding off onslaughts of the forces challenging God’s people’s joy and security (Ephesians 6:13).
Romans 13:11 states, from the King James Version: “And that knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salivation nearer than when we believed”. Also, from the Greek text: “And this knowing the time that it is already the hour for you to be raised out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” This verse (11) conveys the spiritual lethargy of God’s people. Primarily, The Greek phrase kai. tou/to (keh too·to) rendered “and this” calls attention to the lateness, i.e., (passing) of time. This emphasizes that enlightened ones need to be eivdo,tej to.n kairo,n (ee·tho·thehs ton keh·ron) rendered ‘knowing the time,” perceptively seeing the particular time or the point in time that is on God’s manifestly time clock. This is how eternality views time in the light of God’s eternal purpose, thus this verse states that “it is already the hour for you to be raised out of sleep”. Thus, the time is h;dh (ee·thee) rendered “already” past, literally, i.e., it has come and gone, “when you should have been raised out of u[pnou (eep·noo) rendered “sleep”. In other words this statement is prodding “that it is late,” therefore “be raised out of your spiritual sleep and slumber.”
It is very important to note that the Greek verb evgerqh/nai (eh·yehr·thee·neh) rendered “to be, having been raised” is an infinitive in the aorist tense and passive voice. Here, the aorist tense reinforces the point of those prearranged to having already been raised out of sleep, as this is certainly not the case because many of God’s people have the same mindset as the world. More significantly, the passive voice indicates that ONE other than these respondents is the catalyst for raising, arousing and awakening God’s people from their spiritual stupor. For those who are in a state of spiritual hibernation, someone has to arouse, to shake, to stir and that is the purpose of the Holy Spirit as He energizes such through the Word of God. The addressees are those who are spiritually alive in Christ and as such have need for their spirits to be stimulated and aroused by the Holy Spirit. Instead of exhibiting a state of spiritual slothfulness, God’s people need to be simmering, i.e., on fire, as energized by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:11).
As the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years manifest in history, this verse states, “For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.” Ephesians 5:16 conveys that the elect are to be ‘redeeming the time,” i.e., “buying up” every opportunity to serve the Lord because the days are evil. This eleventh verse of Romans is purposed to arouse the enlightened to serve the Lord because time is fleeting… the time when Christ will manifestly return for His own is coming nearer each day. From the moment one’s salvation is revealed, such should begin looking forward to the greatest of all events, the day of total manifestation of salvation. This conveys the time when all the elect of the present age will manifestly assemble in the Lord in the air, when such will have their lowly bodies exchanged in conformity in His glorious body and will always, forever dwell with (in) the Lord (Philippians 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Romans 13:12 states from the King James Version, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and “let us put on the armor of light.” The Greek Text states, “The night is almost gone and the day is near, therefore we should lay aside the works of darkness and we should put on the armor of light.” This verse (12) continues to emphasize the short time God’s people have to serve the Lord and graphically portrays this in stating that ‘the night is almost gone.” The Greek noun nu.x (neex) rendered “night” depicts this present evil age as a time of moral and spiritual darkness (I Thessalonians 5:5). The Greek verb proe,koyen (proehk·o·psehn) rendered “almost gone” denotes that the night is far advanced, far spent and almost over. In other words, the time that Satan has authority and power over this world system is drawing to a close (II Corinthians 4:4; c.f. Luke 4:5-6; I John 5:19).
Hence, the thrust is that in view of the short time left, enlightened ones are to live in the essence of Christ’s actualized sphere of eternality. Following the thought that the night is almost gone, notice the statement “and the day is near.” Observe that in contrast to the Greek noun nu.x (neex) or “night”, the noun h`me,ra (ee·mehr·ah) rendered “day” may also reference those redeemed as “are sons of light and sons of day” (I Thessalonians 5:5,8). The focal point is that a given day is near, already; referred to as the time of “our salvation” and identified with what is called the rapture. Consummation of the present night period previews when Satan’s power on this earth will have run its course and “the day,” referred to is near and it will ultimately usher (manifest) in the day of spiritual light and righteousness under the supreme regulations of Jesus Christ Himself.
In view of the fact that the night is almost gone and the day is near, the succeeding statement is, “we should lay aside the works of darkness and we should put on the armor of light”. The Greek verb avpoqw,meqa (ahp·oth·o·meh·thah) literally rendered “may lay, having laid aside” is in the aorist tense, subjunctive mood and middle voice, which indicates the probability of such having been laid aside as a garment or put off as the renounced works of darkness (John 12:46). In essence to put off the works of darkness and to put on the armor of light chronicles the goal of enlightened ones. Romans 6:13 conveys that such should avail their members as the “instruments of righteousness.” Furthermore, II Corinthians 6:4-7 commends the minister of God through the armor of righteousness on the right and left hand.” Hence, the emphasis in this verse is on the enabled response to “put off” the works of darkness and to “put on” the armor of light.
In consort, Ephesians 5:14-16 states from the King James Version, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.” From the Greek ‘Text, “For everything being made manifest is light. Wherefore he says, arise the one sleeping and stand up from the dead and Christ will shine upon you.” Here, the Greek phrase dio. le,gei (thee·o lehy·ee) rendered “wherefore he says” denotes rising up and awakening from spiritual slumber to those asleep in service to Christ. Standing up and rising out from among those who are spiritually dead confirms the fact that both of these verbs are in the active voice and imperative mode, in effect clearly speaking to carnal servants. In conjunction with the Holy Spirit, those who fall into the category of such carnality are “commanded” to move under the control and dynamics of the Holy Spirit. For those enjoined in a binding spiritual relation in the Lord, Christ will evpifau,sei (ehp·ee·phahv·see) rendered “shine upon them” (enlightened one), thus God “will give them light,” as decreed in the indicative (factual) future, i.e., He will spiritually enlighten them in fellowship relation within Himself in the light (II Corinthians 4:6; c.f. I John 1:7).
Examination of Ephesians 5:15 states from the King James Version, “See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” and from the Greek text, “therefore take heed to how accurately you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” Here, the forepart of this could be translated “Therefore accurately take heed to how you walk”. There are two aspects of thought conveyed in this verse. First, emphasis is on how accurately God’s people should conform to the truth given to the Grace Church. Secondly, emphasis must be on accurately examining the Word of God to determine how such are to walk. Since the emphasis of both thoughts dovetail into one elongated thought; the emphases of both convey the need to accurately scrutinize the Word and to accurately live according to it, “not as unwise, but as wise.” Here, the Greek adjective a;sofoi (ahs·oph·ee) rendered ‘unwise” denotes the opposite of wise, hence, those void of understanding, foolish and imprudent.
On the other hand, those who have the fruit of the light in their lives, who are living in accordance with the truth for the Church are prepared to stand before the judgment seat of Christ (none of His beloved will ever stand before the White throne Judgment) and be judged according to their works; not for salvation but in their service (I Corinthians 1:13-14, 17; 4:5; II Corinthians 5:9-10). These are described as sofoi (soph·ee) rendered “wise” intelligent, learned and knowledgeable. This is the reason the Grace Scriptures place so much stock in wisdom and learning and understanding that being wise refers to those identified with the wisdom of God (Romans 16:19, 27). In contrast, the Grace Scriptures speaks very disparagingly of those extolling the wisdom of men (I Corinthians 1:25, 27; 3:18; Colossians 2:23).
In conclusion, Ephesians 5:16 states from the King James Version, ”Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” and the Greek Text, “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” This sheds light on what redeemed ones should be doing in these final days before the Lord manifestly appears for His beloved. Instead of unwisely living in carnality, such are to be alert, wise and redeeming the time. The Greek noun kairo,n (keh·ron) rendered “time” may refer to the present time (Romans 3:26), a future time (I Corinthians 4:5), the gamut of time in which such live (Galatians 6:10) and time in the sense of suitable situations, fitting circumstances and opportunities (Colossians 4:5). The primary focus interestingly is on the latter meaning in the sphere of time for suitable situations, open door circumstances and multiplied opportunities to expose the truth and avail the gospel of the grace of God to others. Hence, the main emphasis in this verse centers on time, i.e., how it should be used and why.
Thus, God’s people are to be “redeeming” the time. The Greek participle evxagorazo,menoi (ehx·ahg·or·ahz·o·meh·nee) rendered “redeeming” exhibits the present tense and is derived from the words evx (ehx) and agorazo (ahg·or·ahz·o) and literally denotes to buy out, buy up, acquire or purchase from. The contemplation is that the enlightened are to continually be buying out of time every opportunity to edify and instruct one another in the truth for the Church, the Mystery. The following context strongly suggests that the emphasis is on the need to buy up every opportunity to mutually instruct one another regarding actualization in the eternal sphere. In a similar passage, Colossians chapter 5 emphasizes necessitation to procure every opportunity to share knowledge with those void of eternal comprehension, which states, “walk in wisdom toward those outside, redeeming the time.” Combining these thoughts, time consists of series of opportunities to teach the truth of the Word in testimony of viewing the manifestly current entropies from the vantage point of eternality. Galatians 6:10 affirms that time is to be used for the benefit of informing through testimonials in the sense of stating, “Then therefore, as we have time (opportunity), let us do that which is good toward all; especially toward the family of the faith.”
Further exegesis of Ephesians 5:16 states why the informed should redeem the time; namely, “because the days are evil.” The Greek noun h`me,rai (ee·mehr·eh) rendered “days” may refer to the interval between sunrise and sunset or to both night and day or what is the consensus of a 24 hour period. When conveyed in the plural, as it is here, it speaks of an extended period of time, i.e., a time when evil is blatantly rampant. Note, the reference of this time as the last days, i.e., the extended period when there will be grievous times (II Timothy 3:1). Since many days constitute an aivon (ee·on) rendered “age” and Satan is the god of this age (II Corinthians 4:4), it flows that all the days have manifested evil since the “Adamic fall” and they are obviously worse in these last days (II Timothy 3:13). Thus, because surrounding evil tends to infiltrate the minds of God’s beloved, it is imperative that every opportunity be utilized by His beloved to build each other up in the faith.
Ephesians 6:13 states, “On account of this, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able, having been enabled to stand in the evil day” and having accomplished all to stand, having stood.” Implicit use of the aorist tense (completed action) necessitates understanding that the battle is against a spiritual enemy. This exudes that such must be fought with spiritual armor, which God solely provides. The Greek imperative verb avnala,bete (ahn·ahl·ah·veh·teh) rendered “take up,” in the aorist tense, is derived from two Greek words avn (ahn) and la,mbano (lahm·vah·no), which literally denotes command of having taken up or received. This conveys a verbal picture of the enlightened picking up or receiving from God spiritual armor (knowledge). The Greek phase th.n panopli,an (teen pah·no·plee·ahn) rendered “whole armor” denotes complete, total and full armor, which God has provided for waging spiritual battles (I Timothy 6:12). This purpose is clearly defined, thus the instructions to take up all the armor of God are conveyed by the conjunction i[na (een·ah) in combination with the verb dunhqh/te (thee·nee·thee·teh) rendered ‘in order that you may be able, having been enabled” or strengthen to stand, having stood against in the evil day” definitively expresses this initiative.
This is accomplishable solely though elevated Heavenlies’ viewings beyond the conflict of this depraved and imposing confrontational environment. The infinitive avntisth/na (ahnd·ees·tee·nah) translated “to stand against” is derived from the Greek preposition avnti (ahnd·ee) prefixed to the verb isth/ma (ees·tee·mee) and most literally means to oppose or to resist in the evil day. This is the only time the phrase h`me,ra| th/| ponhra/ (ee·mehr·ah tee pon·ee·rah) rendered ‘the evil day” is conveyed and contrary to some who would attribute this to a specific future time such as the day of wrath (Romans 2:5); it should be apparent that when one views the entire context surrounding this phrase, it is certainly feasible to identify “the evil day” with “the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:16). Observe that the identified armor “belongs to God” and is provided for enablement to stand against the foe in the evil day. Thus, it is concluded that this armor is indeed one’s comprehension of eternally actualized intent in every manifestly entropy, which is divinely designed to adequately equip elect recipients to be victorious in their present daily sojourning.
Accordingly, the reason is stated: designated ones are to manifestly take up the whole armor of God namely that they may be, having been enabled to victoriously resist the satanic evil forces “and having accomplished all things to stand, having stood.” The Greek participle katergasa,menoi (kaht·ehr·gah·sah·mehn·ee) rendered “accomplished” is derived from the Greek preposition kata (kaht·ah) prefixed to the verb ergazomai (ehr·gah·zo·meh) and literally denotes to work down, hence, as it is in the aorist tense, literally rendered “having effected” or “having done.” A viable exegesis is: having taken up and completely put on God’s armor and having been enabled; instructed to stand, having stood.” This is certified by the Greek aorist infinitive sth/nai (stee·neh) rendered literally “to stand, having stood.” In corroboration, Ephesians 6:11 states, “ ..that you may be, having been enabled to stand, having stood.” When God’s specially designed spiritual armor is fully utilized, as He intends, it thwarts and prevails against all enemies. So having done this, the elect of God are to remain fixed, set and firm in their victorious son positioning in the Heavenlies, in Christ (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 4:12).
Hebrew 3:12-13 vision the danger of an evil heart of unbelief overtaking some, thus, they are admonished to exhort themselves daily, i.e. redeem the time by encouraging one another in the actuality of God’s Word. Evil days make it all the more imperative to make known the gospel of reconciliation to God’s people even though such are not all enabled (II Corinthians 5:18-21). Although there has been and continued to be rashes of “date setting” and prognostications about the timetable of the Lord’s return, the flaw in these, as well as other such speculations can be found in one basic fact and that is a failure to recognize sufficiently the distinctive conveyances of Paul’s Mystery Message. The present dispensation (grace) was initiated trough the revelation of the Mystery or secret, which was reveled first through the Apostle Paul (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:2-9). It should be further noted that it is Paul’s epistles, which conveys God’s superior knowledge for not only this present age but its viewing of every age from the actualized sphere of eternality.
Hence, God’s people should never, not even once ever look for “the signs of the times.” In fact, there are no reliable validations incurred in signs of the times because they are merely manifestations for testimonial sake rather than actualities chronicling the times of signs. In other words, the Grace Dispensation’s policy is faith, not sight (II Corinthians 5:7). When Paul speaks about ‘the last days” of the dispensation of grace (II Timothy 3:1-5), he gives no more than general trends and movements, things that could be said about any period of time during this dispensation. In fact, in none of Paul’s writings does he once give specific signs to reveal just when Christ will manifestly return. The reason is clear: the Lord’s purpose entails commissioning His people (the Church) throughout this age for extolling the virtues of grace, in that such functions regardless of trends or events. Time was created chiefly for the manifestation of God’s plan, will and purpose, hence, His elect for the dispensational age of grace should be more concerned about His eternal plan and purpose and will than they are about manifestations in Time! The Grace Covenant (contract) reveals dominantly Observation of Manifestations in Time from the Viewpoint of Actualization in Eternity!