SEED & BREAD
THE CONSUMMATION OF THE EON
(Originally published 10 Oct. 86)
Many years ago, in searching for a word that accurately expressed the
meaning of sunteleia in Matthew 24:3, I came upon the word consummation
in the notes on this passage in The Companion Bible, and felt at once
that this was the one English word that set forth its real meaning.
Years of study have deepened this conviction.
The prefix "con" which means with or together, and the word "summary"
which names the result of such action, when linked as one word gives us
a true representation of sunteleia. The best illustration I can give of
this word is to use it in relation to a woman's pregnancy. This has its
beginning within the woman and continues through thousands of stages of
development until it consummates in a living child.
If during the course of nine months of pregnancy there is a miscarriage,
or if the child is aborted, the pregnancy will end, but it will not have
a consummation. There can be no doubt, the word suntelea means a coming
together of all actions and operations that have been working toward a
desired goal, result, or end. The word here is not telos, the actual
end; it is sunteleia, the act of completing to produce a desired goal or
The question asked by the disciples was: "Tell us, when shall these
things be; What will be the sign of your parousia, even the consummation
of the eon?" (Matt. 24:3). The eon they are asking about is the kingdom
eon, the time of God's government over the earth. It is called "the eon"
because it is characterized by divine outflowings that act upon every
detail upon the earth. And these outflowings of God are ever working
toward a goal which will be the personal presence (parousia) of God upon
the earth in the person of the glorified Christ.
To express this the Holy Spirit brought a new word into the language of
the Bible, the word parousia. This was a technical word used to describe
the personal presence of one when he was present because of who he was
and the duties he would perform in view of his position or relationship.
It is simple in its meaning: para means with or alongside, and ousia
means being. Thus as to persons, this word designated an actual personal
But the Greeks had another word that meant personal presence, the word
pareimi. (See this word in Gal. 4:18, 20.) This was the common word for
being present. The disciples did not use this word. They asked
concerning "the sign of His parousia."
My understanding of the future as to its time periods is that the next
great act of God will be to assume sovereignty and establish His
government upon the earth. The method of doing this has been clearly
stated in Matthew 12:18-21:
Behold My servant, Whom I have chosen; My beloved in Whom My soul is
well pleased: I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall show judgment
to the nations. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear
His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking
flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory. And
in His name shall the nations trust. (See Issue No. 38.)
The manner of doing this as to the sequence of its stages is clearly set
forth by the Lord Jesus when He used as a likeness the process of
producing grain. He declared that the kingdom of God after being planted
by Him would develop in five stages:
1. first the blade,
2. then the ear,
3. after that the full grain in the ear
4. the fruit brought forth (the ripened grain), then
5. the harvest.
(See Mark 4:26-29, also Issue No. 48.) It is my conviction that the
blade and ear stages were fulfilled in the 33 years of which the book of
Acts is the history. However the great facts and conditions that
characterized that period have been minimized, depreciated and
stultified by teachers of ecclesiastical history. The average professing
Christian can see nothing in the Acts period except the founding and
development of what they now call "the Christian church." They read this
into every passage and interpret it into every event.
If we take God at His word we should have no trouble in seeing that
everything God set out to do in the Acts period was fully accomplished.
The blade and ear stage of the kingdom of God have run their course. The
next stage of "the full grain in the ear", the manifest kingdom of God,
is ready to burst upon mankind. It is time for God to assume
sovereignty, time for Him to shoot His arrows (Psa. 64:7), time for Him
to judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations upon the earth (Psa.
67:4). Even as Paul said in the final epistle he wrote during the Acts
period: "For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The
night is far spent, the day is at hand" (Rom. 13:11, 12).
The "salvation" that Paul speaks of here was the salvation of Israel, as
declared in Romans 11:26. However, the day that was promised did not
appear. The night became darker. The fulfillment of all promises to
Israel was postponed, all progress in kingdom development was suspended.
The "full grain in the ear" stage of the kingdom became in abeyance, a
suspension that has now continued for 1900 years.
As to the activities of God during this time of suspension, a new
revelation was given to Paul, one never before made known by any channel
or means of divine information, hid from the eons and from the
generations, (Col. 1:26). This revelation concerns an administration of
pure grace, during which God by His dealings with men would establish an
undeniable and irrefutable record of the grace that is inherent in His
A time of divine government to come upon the whole world is the most
prominent fact to be found in all prophecies of the Old Testament. Can
anyone honestly read Isaiah 1:25-27 and 2:1-4 and not see in these
verses the glorious place of Israel and all other nations under a coming
divine government? Can anyone read Ezekiel 34:11-31 and not realize that
it will have to take place in a world that is governed by God? In fact a
coming time of divine government was "the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20).
This was the promise made to the fathers, a promise of which Paul said,
"our twelve tribes earnestly serving God day and night, expect to come"
(Acts 26:7). Central in this hope was the promise that there would be "a
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust."
This truth was known throughout Israel, those in the land and those of
the diaspora. The people were in expectation (Luke 3:15), so when the
Lord Jesus appeared declaring either "the kingdom of the heavens is at
hand" (Matt. 4:17), or "the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15), He
did not need to define His terms. They all knew that He was speaking of
that time of divine government upon the earth of which all the prophets
It is impossible to know today the emotion that swept over His twelve
special disciples when their Lord said to them: "Verily I say unto you,
that ye which have followed Me: in the regeneration when the Son of Man
shall sit on the throne of His glory, you also shall sit upon twelve
thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19:28).
The throne of His glory is the throne that He has established "in the
heavens" (Psalm 103:19). In Scripture a throne is a seat or center of
government. It is from heaven that He will "govern the nations upon the
earth" (Psalm 67:4), as King of kings and Lord of lords. Thus we get the
true Biblical picture of the kingdom of God in its perfected form. The
Lord Jesus is governing all nations from His throne in the heavens. He
is a Shepherd King (Isa. 40:10, 11), and under His guidance will be many
shepherd kings upon the earth, the outstanding one being King David in
Jerusalem governing the new nation of Israel, and under David will be
the twelve apostles shepherding the twelve tribes of Israel.
The twelve had been taught by the Lord Jesus all the important truths
they needed to know about this long period of divine government. They
had been good learners (Luke 10:23, 24). Furthermore, these men knew
they would still be judging the twelve tribes when "the hour of
temptation" (trial), comes "upon the world to try them that dwell upon
the earth." So, they wanted to know more, they wanted to know more about
the next great condition of things on earth that would follow, even the
days of God upon the earth. They asked about certain things. The first
was: "What will be the sign of your parousia?" and they added to this by
stating that by the term "parousia" they spoke of the consummation of
the eon. As stated before "the eon" is the time of God's government, and
all His outflowings of this time will consummate in the parousia, or the
presence of God upon the earth in the person of Jesus Christ. This is
the period of time that the theologians of this world have stultified by
calling it "the millennium."
The time will come when men will realize what they have done to hinder
the truth of God. Scholars in every Jewish center, past and present,
have insistently charged that the so-called "Church Fathers" took the
Hebrew Messianic doctrine of the kingdom of God on earth and
fundamentally altered it to the kingdom of God in heaven. Multitudes
have followed the crooked path that these fathers first made when they
put forth this concept of God's future dealings.
The Biblical truth of the kingdom of God as being a time of divine
government upon this earth has almost disappeared from Church theology.
Even the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 has been
plundered to get material for the concept that it describes the church
in heaven. The great eon of the kingdom is still sorely neglected by
Bible expositors of today. All of God's precious promises concerning it
are forced into the thousand year period of the personal presence of
Many Christian theologians still follow this crooked path. First, they
ignore altogether the kingdom of God which is to come upon the earth.
Following this they deny that glorious period of His personal presence (parousia)
which is the outcome or consummation of His government.
"Where is the promise of His parousia" (2 Peter 3:4). This is the
question they ask in insisting that there is no prophecy of the days of
God upon the earth. They proudly declare themselves to be "amillenialists."
This term correctly describes many great denominations of today.
Issue no. 193