Does element of time matter to God? Consider these verses ‘And God said unto Moses, ‘I Am That I Am…This is My name forever…’(Ex.3:14-15) KJ21 God is unchangeable and He is eternal. His name is the Essence that obviates any other name.
Name in the Bible has its spiritual connotations and is often stressed to indicate the essence of a person. At Peniel God named Jacob as Israel. ’And he said unto him, what is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel.’(Ge.32: 27-28) What is Jacob but the sly one who tricked the birth right out of his brother Esau? God validates him now as one who has prevailed and won power with him and with men.
We give each other names to denote one individual from the other. We shall consider another verse where the Lord says unto Moses how he had made known to the patriarchs. ‘I am the Lord, and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the night of God Almighty; but my name JEHOVA was I not known to them (Ex.6:3) God reveals his essence in such a manner that the patriarchs had not hitherto known. What would that indicate? The Lord God allows a progressive revelation to man.
Let us now examine the element of time. Here too we need understand his revelation is established on a gradual manner. I shall discuss why it is so in another post.
Office of the Holy Spirit in the scripture is indicated as one who keeps time. Of many instances I shall but mention two. ‘Then the Spirit said unto Philip, ‘Go over and join thyself to the Chariot….(Ac.8:29)’’ Philip otherwise would not have known the need of the Ethiopian eunuch who was wrestling with a Messianic prophecy. The Evangelist did not come any sooner that he could explain the Good News to the man. The Spirit knows what is needful for man and sees to its successful conclusion. During one crisis that faced the nascent church once again it was Holy Spirit who convinced through a vision and changed whatever reservations Simon Peter may have had about admitting gentiles into the fold. Of this let us hear the testimony of the apostle who said, ‘And behold immediately three men had already come into the house where I was.. And the Spirit bade me go with them..(Ac.11:11-12)’
The Spirit sets time frame which can be put in another way: God the Spirit translates God’s Time into time which is calculated for the benefit of man. We need to know the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth( Jn16:13) and hence when He says ‘In the beginning’ he refers to God’s Time. Woe to one who thinks his knowledge of time is superior to that of God who instituted the time frame. Contrast to this is the expression God the Spirit uses ‘in fullness of times’. It is consistently used to refer the office of God the Son.
‘But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman…(Gal.4:4)’. Of this we read that ‘(God the Father)… hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world…(Eph.1:4)’Further down we read ‘…that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ..(Eph.1:10). The element of time is scrupulously adhered to and it is God the Father is in control. In Mk13:32 we read that ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away…but that day and hour knoweth no man, -no, not the angels who are in Heaven, neither the Son, but only the Father. The same is mentioned more or less in the Gospel of St. Matthew,’ But of that day and hour, knoweth no man…(Mt.24:36)’
In understanding the time element we need focus on the manner God reveals his Mind. It is progressive and it is the Office of God the Spirit who in timely fashion sets his Will into appropriate time frames. This being the case we only need remember how false prophets and teachers have in the past deceived the people. The case of Harold Camping who predicted the date of Rapture is too fresh in our memory to merit any further elaboration.