Time, Times

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Time has been described as “the measure of motion,” as seen in the movements of the heavenly bodies; or as “the duration of periods,” of which we can conceive a beginning and an ending. It stands in contrast to ETERNITY, of which no beginning and no ending can be conceived.
Christians are exhorted to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:1616Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16); Col. 4:55Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5)). This does not mean “to make up for lost time”; but to seize every favorable opportunity. In Daniel 2:88The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. (Daniel 2:8) the king said that the wise men sought “to gain the time,” that is, obtain a delay in the hope that the king might relent, or that something might happen that would save them.
As to the various events foretold by God that have yet to come to pass, it is not for the Christian to know “the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:77And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Acts 1:7)). But, on the other hand, when two events have been foretold, the one of which must take place before the other (as the “rapture” of the saints before the day of the Lord when He will return with His saints), Christians are expected to know about them, for the apostle Paul writes “Of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:1-21But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:1‑2)). If is further explained in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-103Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:3‑10), that the day of the Lord could not come before the revelation of the Antichrist. Still as to the when of this and of the “rapture” of the saints, we are not to know, but are to be always ready for the latter.
Of the children of Issachar it is said that they were men “that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chron. 12:3232And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. (1 Chronicles 12:32)). They understood the mind of God, namely, that David should be king of the whole of the twelve tribes. So the Holy Spirit can direct the saints to the particular line of truth most suitable to the period in which they live, and teach them what they ought to do; as, for example, a line of truth and action for the present state of the church is pointed out in the Second Epistle to Timothy, agreeing, as it does, with the later addresses to the Seven Churches in Revelation 3.