Daniel, eternity, Gabriel, Heaven, hell, new earth, new heaven, Prayer, spirit time, time in heaven
Perhaps one verse stands above all others in painting the picture of a timeless Heaven.
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 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: [Emphasis added.]
From the King James reading at the end of verse six, it is a short sermon to get us to the place where we can proclaim a time-free heaven. Time itself has ended and since God and the Lamb are the light of the City, sun and moon have no place there. We even sing songs celebrating the—I am stuck here because communication requires a time signature like day, age, period, hour, or even time—when clocks and watches will no longer be necessary. I cannot speak to the necessity of time pieces in heaven, but I can with certainty declare that heaven isn’t timeless.
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
Recall that John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” and was called up into the heaven while in the Spirit. In this condition (in the Spirit) and place (in heaven) he was aware of a silence that lasted half an hour. If this verse were all we had, it would prove sufficient to show time in the spirit realm and in heaven. Thankfully, we have more.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Thus far in Daniel, it has been the angel Gabriel who has been interpreting the visions for him. This messenger isn’t named, but his description in verses 5 and 6 mark him out as an angel and Gabriel is the most likely candidate. Note his awareness of Daniel’s time frame. “From the first day,” he says, “thy words were heard.” Daniel’s prayer was heard in real time, not before he prayed or after he prayed, but from the moment he set his heart to understand. At the very least, this scripture allows us to understand that from Heaven’s perspective, earthly activities are understood within their time frames.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
During the entire twenty-one Earth days Daniel fasted, this angel wrestled with a principality he referred to as the prince of Persia. Was it twenty-one days in the spirit realm? I cannot say, but a period of time transpired for this mighty spirit being as he fought his way past the Persian prince with Michael’s help. This account grants us insight into why the Lord Jesus said that we should always pray and not give up. Our heavenly Father involves His subjects in His work. Answers to prayers are frequently delivered by angels. But they are not unopposed. Our prayers help to provide the pathway for their perseverance.
Time is a reality in the spirit realm and for spirit beings. The devil has a sense of time as do those in hell.
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. [Emphasis added.]
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. [Emphasis added.]
I have frequently heard of our entrance into heaven as an exit from time. This is not the case now nor will it be in the new heavens and the new earth. Note the prayer of the martyred saints whose souls are under the altar in heaven.
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. NKJV
How long, they cry, how long before we see justice accomplished in judgment? “How long” is a question of time. These saints, like the widow in Jesus’s parable on prayer in Luke 18, are crying out to the Judge for justice against their enemy in heaven. They are dead and in heaven and their prayers have not been answered yet. Though resting, they do not appear to be resting in peace if by peace we mean quiet contentment. The Lord informs them that they have to wait “a little while longer.” Waiting only happens in time. Waiting is a reality in heaven. Life there isn’t an all-at-once eternal-now existence. Redemption is still playing out in sequence, even as glory will move to glory when our redemption is fulfilled, providing the stream of experience we call time.
1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. NKJV
New Jerusalem will be no night because darkness will not exist there. But the moon is there. We know this because the tree of life bears fruit every month. Days and years are counted with the sun, but months are lunar. Revelation 22:5 does not say that the sun and its light aren’t present. It says its light is not needed because of the brilliance of God Himself.
Our hope and promise is to reign with Him forever and ever. Forever takes time and we will have an endless amount. It is one of the benefits of being given eternal life.
 The line was probably well understood when first published. To our modern ears, however, it sounds like a declaration of the ending of time. It is not. The phrase indicates that the delay time is over, not time itself. The English Standard Version translates it “that there should be no more delay.”
 See Rev. 21:23.
 James M. Black, the hymn writer, had the same problem when he wrote “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” in 1893. The first line ends with “and time shall be no more,” and the second line begins with “and the morning breaks, eternal, bright, and fair.” Morning is a time word and is granted meaning in contrast to night.
 Rev. 1:10.
 Rev. 4:1-2.
 Luke 18:1-8.
 Similar to this is the sentiment that there are no tears in heaven. Quite to the contrary, it is because of the presence of tears in heaven that the Lord has to wipe them away (Rev. 7:17).
Pingback: She Is not Dead, but Sleepeth – Concerning Them which Are Asleep (Part 5) | The Bible Philes