NM 11: "Reward" for Christians
Eternal Life: Our Reward?
In this paper we will learn the very important distinction between aeonian life and immortality. We will again analyze and examine the words mistranslated into eternal and forever. Because these words were mistranslated in the Bible the difference between aeonian life and immortality has been hidden from almost everyone.
nm299» What is the "reward" for being a Christian? That is, what is the result or effect of being a Christian besides having the New Mind of love, joy, and peace. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord ... the righteous into life eternal" (Mat 25:46; Rom 6:23).
nm300» Many believe that the reward for being a Christian is eternal life. (This is not to say that a Christian has earned the reward by himself. See the "Predestination Paper" [NM 8].). What they mean is that at the resurrection they will be made alive forever, because they can't mean eternal life, for life eternal means: life without beginning or end.
nm301» The Bible was inspired mainly in two languages, Hebrew and Greek. In Romans 6:23 and Mat 25:46 the Greek word that was translated into English as "eternal," is aionios. This Greek word at the time it was inspired to be used in the New Testament meant, agelasting, aeonian, or a period of time of significant character, or an indefinite period of time, or a indeterminate period of time, or simply an age. Thus aionios means an agelasting period of time of unknown length. This Greek word has been mistranslated into such English words in the New Testament as: eternal, everlasting, and forever. But the word doesn't mean forever. At the time it was written by the New Testament writers it meant - an agelasting period of unknown length. One can only ascertain the length of time by the context in which the word is used, or from other scriptures related to the subject. The inspired word means: agelasting or aeonian (see "Age Paper" [NM 7]).
nm302» Meaning of Words. Just because a word has evolved through misuse to mean something, are we to take its evolved meaning, or its original meaning? Words are only symbols of meaning. The important quality about a word is the meaning that was meant to be conveyed by the speaker or writer. When the New Testament writers were inspired to write, they were inspired to write down meanings through the medium of symbolic words. A word is only as good as the meaning it stands for. If we want God's inspired meaning, we should take the word for what it meant when it was written, and not the evolved meaning.
nm303» After we correct the Greek word we get, "the gift of God is aeonian life through Jesus Christ our Lord ... the righteous into life aeonian" (Mat 25:46; Rom 6:23). Now these verses are in context telling us about one result of being a Christian is aeonian life. What does that mean? It means what it says, life for an aeonian period of unknown time.
nm304» But we have a problem here. Does this mean the result of being a Christian is an aeonian period of time? Yes. But does it mean, then, that Christians born of God will die after this aeonian life, for an aeonian period of time to be aeonian or agelasting indicates or implies the possibility of an end to the age at some time? (see below, An Endless Age?)
nm305» Will Christians die after this period of time? No, for those resurrected will be born of God (1John 5:18). God is a spiritual being. Those born of spirit are spirit (John 3:6). We know that spiritual beings do not die (Luke 20:36). In Christ's own words, those resurrected, "neither can they die any more ... and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:36). This is confirmed in 1Cor 15:52, "for the trumpet shall sound [Rev 11:15], and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [immortal], and we shall be changed." Thus, those resurrected will have life forever.
nm306» After we correct the translation for Rom 6:23 and Mat 25:46 we have a paradox: the gift, or the "reward," or the result of being a Christian is life aeonian not life forever. But because they will be resurrected or born into an immortal state as 1Cor 15:52 and other verses say, they, of course, will not die. But immortal life is not the promise made by such verses as Rom 6:23 or Mat 25:46. These verses only promise aeonian life, or life for an age. We need to know what this aeonian life means and why it was used. There is a logical answer to this as you shall see shortly.
nm307» We have shown that Christians when born of God in the resurrection will not die. We will now show you several more verses to confirm that one benefit for being a Christian is aeonian life. In other words, immortal life is but one result of being a Christian. But immortal life will also be given to those who will not become Christians in the age of Satan's spiritual rule (NM13). Therefore, Christians from the present age will receive another gift besides immortality, and that gift is called aeonian life by the Bible (Rom 6:23). What is this aeonian life?
nm308» "There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the age ["world"] to come life aeonian" (Luke 18:29-30).
nm309» "Therefore I [Paul] endure, all things for the elect's sake, that they [the elect] may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with aeonian glory" (2Tim 2:10). "He [Christ] became the author of aeonian salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb 5:9). Here it is speaking of aeonian salvation (Heb 5:9), and that with this salvation will be aeonian glory (2Tim 2:10). When and where is this aeonian excellency, aeonian salvation, aeonian glory, and aeonian inheritance of life?
nm310» "And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which sees [Spiritually] the Son, and believes [Spiritually] into him, may have aeonian life: [when?] and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). "This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live in the age" (John 6:58).
nm311» Those Christians who will have aeonian life will be raised or resurrected up at the last day (the 1000 year Sabbath). As Rev 20:4-6 indicates, this is the resurrection at the beginning of the millennium. And they shall live in the age. This aeonian life begins at the start of the 7th millennium when Christ physically returns (see "Thousand Years and Beyond" and "Last Judgment" papers). At that same time Christians will be made immortal (1Cor 15:52-55).
nm312» Thus, the aeonian excellency, glory, and salvation begins at Christ's physical return. And Christians will live in that age. What age? We know when this age begins (at Christ's return), but when does it end, and what happens in it, and where will this age period of glory be located at?
nm313» Rom 8:17 tells us Christians will be glorified together with Christ. Isa 60:15 speaks of an aeonian excellency, and 2Tim 2:10 speaks of an aeonian glory. And all these begin at Christ's return ("Thousand Years and Beyond" paper [NM 15]). What else begins at Christ's return?
nm314» Therefore the effect for being Christians (besides immortality, which all others will eventually obtain) is aeonian existence and rulership, in the aeonian glory of the kingdom of God under Christ the God, until the typical end of the Spiritual creation when all of the God family will typically take over the kingdom in equality. The Family of God will continue forever since they are immortal, but the government under Christ the God will be given over to the God, who at that time will be all in all (1Cor 15:28; God Papers).
nm315» The aionios time or aeonian time begins when Christ returns (Rev 11:15) and exists during the 1000 years (Rev 20:4-6). After this age there will be a short age before the creation of the New Heaven and Earth, wherein everyone will be alive (Isa 65:20; John 7:37; see "Thousand Years and Beyond"). Thus, the only special "reward" of being a Christian is rulership for 1000 years, an aeonian time. After this aeonian kingdom of God under Christ, the kingdom of God will continue into the next age of unity until the God is all in all (see the God Papers).
nm316» There are ages within the great new age of the True god. The 1000 years is an age, as well as the short age after the 1000 years. These are ages within the greater age. As shown in the "Age Paper" [NM 7] there is an age of Satan and an age of God. Satan's age ends at Jesus Christ coming back to the earth. But God's age doesn't end: (1) "His dominion is an aeonian dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dan 7:14, see Hebrew text).; (2) "And he will reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:33, see Greek).
nm317» To repeat. This aeonian kingdom has a beginning: it starts at Christ's return. (In a sense it started with Christ first appearance.) But this aeonian kingdom has no end, 'which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.' It is an aeonian system because it has a beginning, but it has no end. Contrariwise, Satan's system has a beginning, and it has an end.
nm318» Thus, the Bible by definition tells us that God's age will not end. This does not mean aionios means forever. It still means age or eon, but this new age or eon of harmony will never end. God won't allow it to end like other ages. Christians are "rewarded" with life throughout the new age - from its very beginning at the start of the 1000 years. The others miss the full 1000 years.
nm319» Conversely, the effect for the others, besides the Christians who lived during the age of the other-mind (Satan), will be death (Rom 6:23) as punishment (Ezek 33:8; Mat 25:46; see Last Judgment paper [NM 24]). This punishment will be an "aeonian punishment" (Mat 25:46). These are those "who shall be punished with aeonian destruction [death, Rom 6:23] from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2Thess 1:9). How long will this aeonian punishment last? As a whole the non-Christians will be punished with death for 1000 years during the seventh millennium. Then after this 1000 year death the "dead" will be resurrected as humans in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:15; 1Cor 15:21; Rev 20:5,13). They will live after the 1000 year age in the atonement period (Great Last Day) as humans begotten of God's Spirit. Then after this atonement period they will be born of God at the antitypical or true end of creation (1Cor 15:24-28) much like those real Christians who are still alive at Christ's physical return (1Cor 15:52-55).
nm320» John 5:29 which reads, "the resurrection of judgment," is one and the same with the "resurrection of the dead." This is so because the people called the "dead" by the Bible will be dead during the 1000 year judgment or punishment. The resurrection of judgment is the resurrection of those of the judgment of the dead. Therefore the "dead" will be raised from their judgment in the "resurrection of the judgment" (See Last Judgment paper [NM 24]).
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