Rightly dividing the Word of truth
This is part 20 in a series of 53 articles about RIGHTLY DIVIDING GOD’S WORD OF TRUTH. All scripture quoted will be from the King James Bible.
In part 20, we continue where we left off in part 19 about dispenastions.
The word dispensation describes how God works out his purpose in the world, and how he expects us to respond. In short, it is the revealed will of God for any given age of time from Adam and Eve down to our present time.
Basically, there are eight different dispensations given by God down through the ages of time which are:
1. Innocence – from the creation to the fall of man (the first sin) – Although the Bible does not say specifically, this dispensation probably did not last very long, perhaps only a few days. It ended about 4000 BC. This dispensation is covered in the scriptures from Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 3:22.
2. Conscience – from the fall of man to the great flood – This dispensation lasted from about 4000 BC to about 2350 BC and is covered in the scriptures from Genesis 3:23 to Genesis 8:19. With very little instruction from God during this time, man acted according to his own conscience. The evil became so overwhelming, that this dispensation ended when God destroyed all but Noah and his family in the great flood.
3. Human government – from the great flood to the call of Abraham – This dispensation began in about 2350 BC and is still in effect. Although Abraham and his descendants went under the dispensation of promise around 2000 BC, as explained below, the remainder of mankind remained under the human government dispensation. It is covered in the scriptures from Genesis 8:20 to Genesis 11:32. God began allowing humans to govern themselves and to punish criminals.
4. Promise – from the call of Abraham to the giving of the law to Moses for the children of Israel – This dispensation applied only to Abraham and his descendants through his son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob (Israel). It lasted from about 2000 BC to about 1500 BC is covered in the scriptures from Genesis 12:1 to Exodus 19:7. God promised Abraham that He would give land to Abraham’s seed and that all the nations of the world would be blessed by his seed. Although Israel went under the law described below around 1500 BC, the promise God made to Abraham is still in effect.
5. Law – from the giving of the law to Moses for the children of Israel to the calling of Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (those not of Israel) – This dispensation applied only to Jacob’s descendants, Israel. It began about 1500 BC and lasted until it began to fade away about 37 AD and stopped in 70 AD. It will resume for seven years during the future tribulation after the dispensation of grace listed below. It is covered in the scriptures from Exodus 19:8 to Acts 8 and from Hebrews to Revelation. The book of Acts is a book of transition from law to grace. During the period covered by Acts 9 to 28, we see the grace dispensation coming in and the law dispensation fading away. ——– To be Continued