My (Tony’s) Reply To

Don Hewey’s:
“Problem Verses with Aion”

    If the aion (eon) is not endless, does this mean that our life is not?   Does this mean that God’s righteousness, glory and life are not endless?   In “Problem Verses with Aion” which is found here: http://www.1john57.com/aion.htm Don Hewey has taken it upon himself to critique the use of the word “aion” as used by some Universalists.   I wish to show how that Don is incorrect.   Don reasons that if the eons are temporary, then, everything related to the eons must be temporary.   We say Don’s reasoning here if false.   Case in point: In Revelation 20:4 it is stated: “these live and reign with Christ a thousand years.”   According to Don’s reasoning, Revelation 20:4 tells us that when the thousand years end that Christ and they who live with Christ all of a sudden die.
    Whether or not something that lasts for the eons continues beyond the eons is not dependent on the meaning of the word aion.   It is dependent on the teachings of God’s Word on all these subjects of God’s glory and wisdom and righteousness, and such revelations as God being the Saviour of all.    Don’s words will be in italic, mine will be Roman type.
     I trust that this will be done in a spirit of love and meekness and that no offense will be given but that all affected by Don will see where he is not correct in his understanding of this topic.

Don writes: Universalists assume that “aion” is denoting “a period of time” or “an indeterminable amount of time.”  If this is true, several problems are introduced and are contradictory to the attributes of the most High God.  Not to also mention, that acceptance of this definition for “aion” also contradicts and denies the universalist definition of endless life.  How can we live endlessly with a God that is “temporarily” righteous, is not immortal, has no glory, is not wise, has no endless kingdom, and does not abide endlessly?

If and only if, “aion” is temporary
then the following assumptions must be true

The glory of God is temporary (contradicts:  1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 22:5, Jude 1:25, Matthew 6:13, Galatians 1:5,  Romans 1:23 and Philippians 4:20)
The righteousness of God is also temporary, which is implying that God is a sinner! (contradicts:  1 Timothy 1:17, 1Timothy 6:16, 1 Peter 1:23, Jude 1:25, John 12:34, John 14:16 and 2Corinthians 9:9)
God lives only temporarily, God eventually dies. (contradicts:  1Timothy 1:17, 1Timothy 6:16, 1Peter 1:23, Jude 1:25, Revelation 10:6, and Matthew 6:13)
God’s Kingdom is temporary, (contradicts:  Revelation 22:5, Daniel 7:18, Jude 1:25, Matthew 6:13, and Ephesians 1:21)
God is only wise temporarily, God is apparently unwise later on. (contradicts:  1Timothy 1:17, Romans 16:27 and Jude 1:25)
God is incorruptible temporarily, (contradicts:  1Timothy 6:16, 1Peter 1:23, 2Corinthians 9:9 and Romans 1:23)
God is not immortal, God eventually dies. (contradicts:  1Timothy 1:17, 1Timothy 6:16, 1Peter 1:23, Jude 1:25, Revelation 10:6, and Matthew 6:13)
God abide’s only temporarily, (contradicts:  1Peter 1:23, John 12:34 and John 14:16)
1Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal[aion], immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever[aion] and ever[aion]. Amen.
      Tony’s reply: First of all, we do not have endless life because we have age-abiding life, or better yet “eonian life” which is life pertaining to the ages or eons to come. We do not have endless life only if aion is endless. We will have endless life because we will have put on incorruption and immortality according to 1 Corinthians 15:53:
     “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. 54 Now, whenever this corruptible should be putting on incorruption and this mortal should be putting on immortality, then shall come to pass the word which is written,
Swallowed up was Death by Victory.
55 Where, O Death, is your victory?
Where, O Death, is your sting?”
   We will have endless life because we will have been vivified (made immortal) in Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:22). So right off the bat, Don is wrong to say that if aion denotes a period of time that this therefore “denies the Universalist definition of endless life.”
   Also, we don’t assume anything about the Greek word Aion. We have gone to great lengths to see if aion carries the idea of “unendingness” or if it carries the idea of a period or cycle which has bounds as to a beginning and ending. Don has to agree that every theologian and person trained in Hebrew and Greek in seminaries and bible colleges will say that one of the meanings of “aion” is an age or a period of time having a beginning and end. So are all of them wrong? Even Don’s beloved KJV uses “aion” in such a way that it has limited duration in quite a few places. So why does Don not come down on his KJV? There are many sincere believers and teachers of Don’s persuasion that teach that an aion can be used to denote “a period of time” or “an indeterminable amount of time.” So I do not think this is specific to just “Universalists.”
      Don asks a question above which I repost here: “How can we live endlessly with a God that is “temporarily” righteous, is not immortal, has no glory, is not wise, has no endless kingdom, and does not abide endlessly?”
     I don’t know any Universalists believing that God is not immortal, has no glory, is not wise, has a temporary righteousness, and does not abide endlessly. Let me put Don’s question into a positive statement: We will live endlessly with a God Whose attributes are unending even if the eons are not endless. I will prove this to be the case.
    The Concordant Literal New Testament is the ONLY Bible that has not translated aion and it’s adjective aionion but carried them directly over into English in their Anglicized form. If the Bible states that each eon ends, who are we to complain? Nowhere in the Bible does it state that if the eons end that therefore the things Don details must end that are ascribed to God. Let us see how far afield Don has gone.

Don continues: Let us examine some attributes of God within the context of the verse’s with the word “aion” contained within these verses: If and only if, “aion” is temporary then the following assumptions must be true
The glory of God is temporary (contradicts: 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 22:5, Jude 1:25, Matthew 6:13, Galatians 1:5, Romans 1:23 and Philippians 4:20)
Tony’s reply: Let us have a look at each of the verses Don references above shall we?
1 Timothy 1:17 states: “Now to the King of the eons, the incorruptible, invisible, only, and wise God, be honor and glory for the eons of the eons! Amen!”;
   Now it should be clear to all that since the word “eons” here is in the plural, that more than one eon is in view. For there to be more than one eon, the ones that went before had to have both a beginning and an end. How can an aion/eon be endless if there are more than one? Why is there a need for more than one if just one is endless? These questions seem to have slipped by Don. A Bible teacher by the name of A. E. Knoch wrote this concerning 1 Timothy 1:17 in the Concordant Commentary:
    “The title ‘King of the eons’ does not limit God to the eons in time, even as ‘the Lord of the earth’ does not limit Him in space. It describes His sovereignty during the eons, for only in them is kingly government known (1 Cor.15:24). ” (end of quote)
    When the eons end will God all of a sudden cease to be? No! He will cease to be the King of the eons for there no longer will be eons to be King over. But He will still be King as He rules in the hearts of all in the heavens and earth in that glorious day.
Revelation 22: 5 “And night shall be no more, and they have no need of lamplight and sunlight, for the Lord God shall be illuminating them. And they shall be reigning for the eons of the eons.”
   When the eons come to an end there will be no need to be reigning further for they will have reigned so perfectly that they will have ruled out all rule. I don’t know why Don references Revelation 22:5 to prove that God’s glory is temporary if the eons are temporary. Also, again, please take note that “eons” is in the plural, thus showing that there is more than one eon. For there to be more than one eon, the eons that went before must be of a temporary duration. They had to begin and end for the next one to come. So, how can they each be endless?
Jude 1:25 :“to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and authority before the entire eon, now, as well as for all the eons. Amen!”
   Now let’s really think about this verse. It first is written “before the entire eon.” This means that the entire eon had to have a beginning since there was a time **before** the eon in question. Right? Then it states “as well as for all the eons,” right? Again, I hate to seem as if I’m running this into the ground but I feel it is very important. For there to be “eons” there has to be more than one eon. Are you with me this far? For there to be more than one eon, the eon that went before had to begin and end, right? So how can the eons be endless as Don would have us believe? If just one eon is endless, why does there need to be more than one? Furthermore, the Bible never states that if the eons end that God’s glory will end. So why say it? I’m sure that when the eons end that God’s glory will be even more enhanced for He will have won the hearts of the entire universe.

Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” The three oldest manuscripts do not have the latter part of this verse so it is a moot point.

Galatians 1:5 : “ 4 Who gives Himself for our sins, so that He might extricate us out of the present wicked eon, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to Whom be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen!”
   I thought I would give 1:4 as well. Hewey’s “perfect” bible says “this present evil world ” rather than “present evil eon.” The Greek word for “world” is “kosmos.” Kosmos is not used in this verse. It is aion (eon). So we have a present wicked eon, and then we have “eons” in the plural after that. One day this wicked eon will end and give way to the glorious eons to come. This eon in which we live is not unending. If it was, why woule there be any need for any more eons in the future? Christ does get glory for the eons to come. That is the important thing. Then when all are subject to Christ, He quits reigning and subjects Himself to God. Then God is All in all (see 1 Cor.15:22-28). The Bible does not actually say that Christ will no longer have glory when the eons end. It just tells us that He will have glory during the eons. That is the important thing.
Romans 1:23: “and they change the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of a corruptible human being and flying creatures and quadrupeds and reptiles.”

    I have no idea why Don referenced this verse to show that if the eons end that God glory will end. Maybe Don is trying to tell us that since God is incorruptible that therefore the eons should be unending. Maybe he is afraid that if this eon ends God will no longer be incorruptible?
Philippians 4:20: “Now to our God and Father be glory for the eons of the eons! Amen!”
   Yes, God will get glory for the eons to come. For there to be more than one eon, the eon that went before had to begin and end and the one coming later has to have a beginning and an end. How can the eons be endless if each one is beginning and ending? Will God’s glory end all of a sudden when this present wicked eon ends? No. Will His glory cease when the eon after this one ends and the new earth eon begins? No.

Don continues: The righteousness of God is also temporary [if the eons are temporary], which is implying that God is a sinner! (contradicts: 1 Timothy 1:17, 1Timothy 6:16, 1 Peter 1:23, Jude 1:25, John 12:34, John 14:16 and 2Corinthians 9:9)
Tony’s reply: I have no idea why Don thinks that if the eons are temporary that God is therefore a sinner, i.e., that His righteousness is temporary. There are seven days to a week. For one day to begin, one has to end. The days are not unending. There are four weeks to a month. For one week to begin, one has to end. The weeks are not unending. There are fifty-two weeks to a year, ten years to a decade and there are ten decades to a century. A century is less than the 1000 year eon but nonetheless is not unending because for each decade to come, one must end. There are 1000 years to a millennium. The reign of Christ on earth occurs in the eon to come. When a day ends, does God’s righteousness end? When a week ends, does God’s righteousness all of a sudden end? When a year or a decade ends, does God’s righteousness end? The next eon is ten centuries in length. When that eon ends will God’s righteousness all of a sudden end? Then the next eon after the 1000 years brings in the new earth. On the new earth will God still have righteousness? I sure bet He will have! Don’s idea is just untenable. Just because an eon is longer than a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, and a century does not mean it is endless. It just means it is longer than those smaller units of measurement.

Don continues : God lives only temporarily, God eventually dies [if the eons are temporary]. (contradicts:  1Timothy 1:17, 1Timothy 6:16, 1Peter 1:23, Jude 1:25, Revelation 10:6, and Matthew 6:13)
      Tony’s reply : But this does not make any sense. What about in Revelation where it is stated: “these live and reign with Christ a thousand years” (Rev.20:4). Are we to suppose that since the thousand years is of a temporary duration, that when it ends, they and Christ all of a sudden quit living? If this is so, who is living and reigning with Christ on the new earth? And if they continue to live after the thousand years is over, why can’t they also be living after the eon is over as well? The eon to come, after this present wicked eon, happens to be the thousand years. This by no means contradicts the scriptures Don has referenced.
     Furthermore, if Don is going to make “aion” endless because God’s life etc., is connected with it, then he should make the 1,000 years endless too since Christ’s life and they who live with him is connected with the thousand years too. But happily we know that the thousand years will end for Revelation 20:7 says so.

Don continues : God’s Kingdom is temporary [if the eons are temporary], (contradicts: Revelation 22:5, Daniel 7:18, Jude 1:25, Matthew 6:13, and Ephesians 1:21)
Tony’s reply : This again is just not so. In the first place, Christ reigns UNTIL. Until what? Until all enemies are placed under His feet (see 1 Cor.15:25). Yet the KJV says that He reigns “for ever and ever.” If that isn’t a direct contradiction I don’t know what one is! However the Greek and literal translation says: He reigns for the eons of the eons. Here is a handy chart detailing this:


Chart of eons


    Please notice at the bottom of the chart where it shows Christ reigns for ever and ever and how this lines up with the last two eons and then He quits reigning. This shows that it is in perfect harmony with God’s wonderful word and that it does not contradict the truth! The Greek words of the original manuscripts upon which our Bibles are translated has behind “reigns for ever and ever” this: basileucei (He shall reign) eis (into) tous (the) aionas (eons) ton (of the) aionon (eons). So it should be understood that where “for ever and ever” is in bibles that this really means “for the eons of the eons” which are the last two eons (or ages) to come.

    Don continues : God is only wise temporarily, God is apparently unwise later on [if the aion is temporary]. (contradicts:  1Timothy 1:17, Romans 16:27 and Jude 1:25).
     Tony’s reply : This just does not follow logically what Don is saying. I have already proven that what he has said thus far is not correct. But let us continue on and see if God is wise only temporarily if the aion is temporary. First of all, none of the scriptures Don references above say that God is wise for ever and ever. There is no scripture which states that God is wise for the eon, even. Is it that Don is grasping at straws? As I have shown before that the Scriptures say: “these live and reign with Christ a thousand years.” We know that a thousand years is of a temporary duration. Do they all of a sudden die when the thousand years end? Will God quit being wise when the eons end? You figure it out. I will not insult your intelligence by explaining it further.

Don continues : God is incorruptible temporarily, (contradicts:  1Timothy 6:16, 1Peter 1:23, 2Corinthians 9:9 and Romans 1:23)
Tony’s reply : Again, I have no idea why Don thinks that God’s incorruptibility is of a temporary duration if an aion is. We have already shown that if there are “eons” to come, and there are, and that each eon cannot be endless in duration, otherwise how could another eon replace the eon that went before? And if even one is endless, why would there be more than one eon? Isn’t one good enough if it is endless? Are there going to be several endlessnesses in the future? Do we have need of more than one eternity? Will one eternity end to be replaced by another eternity? Of course not! Each eon ends. All the eons end! Yet God’s incorruptibility does not rely on how long an eon lasts any more than does the life of the believer! We put on immortality and incorruption. We do not have unending life because an aion (eon) is endless. We have unending life because we put on immortality! I wish people could see this. It is so basic. It really is not that hard to see.

Don continues : [If the eons end] God is not immortal, God eventually dies.(contradicts:  1Timothy 1:17, 1Timothy 6:16, 1Peter 1:23, Jude 1:25, Revelation 10:6, and Matthew 6:13)
Tony’s reply : Does God die if an aion (eon) is ends? In Revelation 20:4 it is written “ these live and reign with Christ a thousand years .” Will Don please tell us if Christ and those who reign with Christ will die if the thousand years to come ends? Will Don please be fair and tell us that since “life” is mentioned of those with Christ and Christ, that the “thousand years” must now be unending since (according to Don) their life and Christ’s life is unending? Will Christ quit reigning when the thousand years end? But the Bible says that the thousand years does end (see Revelation 20:7) . Don must come to terms with this problem he has which is this: If an aion MUST be endless for the believer’s life and Christ’s life to be endless, then the thousand years MUST be endless too! Don cannot have it one way and not the other. He must accept the fact that if they continue to live when the thousand years ends that they continue to live when the eon ends. Otherwise Don is just not being fair with himself.

Don continues: [If the eons end] God abide’s only temporarily, (contradicts: 1Peter 1:23, John 12:34 and John 14:16)
     Tony’s reply : So Don thinks that God abides only temporarily if an aion is temporary? Please see above how I’ve dealt with this illogical fallacy.
     Why is it that God’s glory, righteousness and life are not temporary but the punishment of the nations is temporary? In Matthew 25:46 it is stated that: “And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.” Of course some Bibles say “everlasting punishment” in Matthew 25:46. The punishment is aionion (eonian) or in other words, it is “pertaining to the eon.” How is it that God continues to get glory after the eons end but the punishing of the nations end when the eon ends? There are scriptures which declare that all mankind will have their lives justified (Romans 5:18) and that the same many that were made or constituted sinners will also be made righteous (Romans 5:19). The same “all” who, in Adam, are dying are the exact same “all” who, in Christ shall be made alive (or vivified i.e., be given immortality) (1Cor.15:22). All in the heavens and all on the earth will one day be reconciled to God (Colossians 1:20). Believers are reconciled NOW (Col.1:21). All will be saved (1 Tim.2:4-6; 4:10,11). All in the heavens and all on the earth will one day be headed up in the Christ (Eph.1:10. Believers are headed up in Christ now (see Eph.1:11). There will be no further need for chastening when the eons end and all are in Christ and God is All in all (see 1 Cor.15:28).
     Also, what about where it is written that God is the “ever lasting God” in Romans 16:26? What is the Greek word behind “everlasting”? It is “aionion” (eonian) which gives the idea of “pertaining to the eons.” Here is the verse in question: “yet manifested now and through prophetic scriptures, according to the injunction of the eonian God ” (Rom.16:26). Will God all of a sudden just go “poof” when the eons end? Will He die when the eons end? No! He will cease to be the “eonian God,” for He will no longer have eons to be God over. He will, however, then be God All in all. Thus also, the punishment of the nations for mistreating Christ’s brethren will end once the 1,000 years are finished (Matthew 25:31-46). But the nations continue on because the kings of the nations are on the new earth after the 1,000 years is finished (Rev.21:24,26; 22:2).

The scriptures Don references:
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal [aion] , immortal, invisible, the only wise God , [be] honour and glory for ever [aion] and ever [aion]. Amen.
Tony’s reply: Actually, this should read: “unto the King of the eons . . . be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen!” In the Greek it is “aionas ton aionon” where the ‘o’ is a long ‘o’. All three places where “eons” above is used are in the plural form.

Other scriptures Don referenced are 1 Timothy 6:16: “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.” Literally: “honour and power eonian,” which is “pertaining to the eon(s).”

and

Revelation 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 (his servants---Rev. 22:3) shall reign for ever [aion] and ever [aion].”
Literally: “shall reign for the eons of the eons.”

Daniel 7:18 “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”
Literally: “and possess the kingdom for the eon, even unto the eons of the eons.”

and

1 Peter 1:23 having been regenerated, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, living and permanent, incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:52) .

and

Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever [aion]. Amen. Literally: “both now as well as for all the eons. Amen!”

and

Revelation 10:6 “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are,...” Literally: by Him that liveth for the eons of the eons.
and
Revelation 20:4 “-they also live and reign with Christ a thousand years .”

and

1 John 2:17 “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever [aion].” Literally: “abideth for the eon.”

Matthew 6:13 “. . . For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever [aion]. Amen.”
Matthew 6:13 is not in the oldest nor best manuscripts.
John 12:34 “. . . that Christ abideth for ever [aion] . . .”
Literally: “abideth for the eon

John 14:16 “. . . the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever [aion] . . .”
Literally: “abide with you for the eon

Another of Don’s verses:
Romans 1:23 “. . . And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God . . .”
     Whether the ages or eons are of limited or unlimited duration does not determine whether God’s uncorruptibleness will end or remain.

and

Romans 1:25 “. . . the Creator, who is blessed for ever [aion]. Amen.”
Literally: “Who is blessed for the eons”

and

Romans 9:5 “. . . Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever[aion]. Amen.”
Literally: “God blessed for the eons.”
Romans 16:27 “To God only wise , [be] glory through Jesus Christ for ever [aion] . . .”
Literally: “through Jesus Christ for the eons of the eons.” In both places “eons” is plural meaning more than one. In the Greek it is “eis tous aionas ton aionon” (lit. “into the eons of the eons,”) and not just “aion” as Don writes above.
2 Corinthians 9:9 “. . . his righteousness remaineth for ever [aion].”
Literally, “His righteousness remains for the eon.”
Galatians 1:5 To whom [be] glory for ever [aion] and ever [aion]. Amen.
Literally, “to Whom be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen!” Again, “eons” is plural meaning more than one.
Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world , but also in that which is to come.
      Notice in Don’s verse which he picked above it says: “in this world”? That is a very bad translation. In Greek “kosmos” is the word for “world.” Kosmos is not in that verse but aion (eon) is.
     A more faithful rendering of the Greek would be: “not only in this eon , but also in that [eon] which is to come.” How can an aion (eon) be unending, as Don would want us to believe, if there is “this eon” and an “eon which is to come”?
Philippians 4:20 “Now unto God and our Father [be] glory for ever [aion] and ever [aion]. Amen.”
Literally: “be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen!” “eons” is plural in both places.

A final word from me (Tony): Since there are eons to come and we are living in the present wicked eon (Gal.1:4) (some Bibles improperly have “world” in 1:4), it stands to reason that this aion (eon) or age in which we live cannot be unending. This is because it must end before the eons which are to come can begin. Since there is more than one aion (eon) to come after this one, the next one must have both a beginning and an end as well. Therefore no aion (eon) is endless. Therefore, even though the eons end, God’s glory, righteousness, life still remain as does ours.
Here is scriptural proof that all of the eons end: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV).
Some better translations of this same verse would be:
“Now all this befalls them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained” (Concordant Literal New Testament).
(Weymouth New Testament) All this kept happening to them with a figurative meaning; but it was put on record by way of admonition to us upon whom the ends of the Ages have come.

(Young’s Literal Translation) And all these things as types did happen to those persons, and they were written for our admonition, to whom the end of the ages did come,

(English Majority Text Version) Now all these things happened to those people as examples, and they were written for our instruction, to whom the ends of the ages have come.

(Analytical-Literal Translation) Now all these [things] happened to those [people as] examples, and they were written for our instruction, to whom the end of the ages came.

(American Standard Version) Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.

Also this verse shows the eons will end:
“since then He must often be suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest” (Heb.9:26).
When the eons end, sin will be repudiated at last. Now that is what I call “Good News”!
Tony Nungesser

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