And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer, Revelation 10:6.
Time no longer? What does that mean? Increasingly, I am hearing more and more expositors suggesting that time itself will cease. They have grown up on science fiction and speculative physics. They envision a future in which everything happens in some eternal bliss in which there are no intervals between events. They see it as the cosmic now. This is ridiculous when examined biblically. To understand that, we need to look at time itself. What is time? The Oxford English dictionary defines time as: A finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues. Breaking that down into something simple, time is how we measure the spaces between events.
A year is the space of time between two specific solar events. Originally, the Roman year began at the winter solstice. That was the shortest day of the year when measuring hours of sunlight. They counted 365 days from one winter solstice to another. In actuality, a year takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. As their measuring system was inexact using a 365-day year, the winter solstice slowly crept up before the official start of the new year until it generally happened on December 21st.
When the world changed to the Gregorian Calendar, that slippage ceased but by then the new year had fallen 10 days behind the winter solstice. By adding in leap years every four years the slippage in time was corrected. Even this adjustment needs occasional tweeking. What few people realize is that there are no leap years on century years except every 400 years. Therefore the year 1900 was not a leap year and the year 2100 will not be a leap year. The year 2000 was a leap century which only happens every 400 years.
A day is the period of time from one night to another. It is measured by the time in which a shadow on the ground is in the exact same position as it was in the previous period of light. We divide that period of time into 24 hours. We divide those hours into 60 minutes, and we divide those minutes into 60 seconds. We use those measurements to describe intervals between events.
The Jewish and Muslim system of time keeping uses the moon instead of the sun to keep track of events. Our English word “month” comes from the word “moon” (moonth). Prior to Satan’s fall, the year could be neatly divided into 360 days which were divided into twelve 30-day months. Now, the only way that we make months to come out evenly with the year is we disassociate the months from lunar cycles. The moon makes its rotation about every 28 days whereas our months have 28-day, 30-day and 31-day measurements to make them fit.
If we look at the above verse that says, there should be time no longer, what else could that mean? What does it mean at the end of a basketball game when the refs declare that there is no more time? It means that a measured period of time in which two teams have agreed to play basketball has concluded. Regardless of how many times either team puts the ball in the basket after that, it doesn’t count. There are many times in the bible when God gives men a specific integer of time in which to repent. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not, 2nd Peter 2:3. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time, Revelation 12:12.
To illustrate how that God sees time as the interval between two events, look at his use of the word, “space”. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not, Revelation 2:21. God measures that space in units of time; And this continued by the space of two years, Acts 19:10. If we were to stand every other verse in the bible on their heads and suddenly start humming the theme song for the Twilight Zone, we might be able to convince ourselves that instead of the angel declaring that time is up for man’s shenanigans, God was instituting a future in which there would be no measurable space in between events. In doing so we would need to cut certain prophecies out of our bible.
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD, Isaiah 66:23. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; Colossians 2:16,17. There will always be sun and moon, springtime and harvest. The New Jerusalem may not need the light of the sun, but there is a lot more to eternity than the New Jerusalem. Time will not cease. There will always be events and we will continue to measure the intervals between those events.