Rightly dividing the Word of truth
This is part 21 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 21, we shall continue with the different dispensations in the Bible:
6. Grace – from the calling of Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, to the rapture of the church – We are now in this dispensation. It began in about 37 A.D. and will last until the future rapture. Hopefully it will be soon, but we do not know when the rapture will occur, except that it will occur before the seven-year tribulation. This dispensation of grace is covered in the scriptures in Paul’s letters from Romans to Philemon. When Israel refused to accept Jesus Christ, who had ascended to heaven, as their Messiah, God turned to the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy, Romans 11:11.
7. Kingdom (or divine government) – from the return of Jesus Christ to the great white throne of judgment – This begins at the end of the seven-year tribulation mentioned above and lasts for 1000 years. During this time, Jesus Christ will reign as King in Jerusalem. This dispensation is covered in Revelation chapter 20. However, much more detail on this dispensation may be found in many prophecies in various other parts of the Bible.
8. Eternity Future – This dispensation begins at the end of the 1000 years mentioned above and lasts forever. It is covered in the scriptures in Revelation chapters 21-22.
Paul used the word dispensation to describe a change in God’s revealed purpose for humanity. God never changes, but his revealed will does, and has changed!
When God gave promises to Abram anyone could be blessed simply by blessing Abram. When God gave the law to Moses, Israel was required to obey, or else face the consequences. When Paul received a dispensation from God, it described a change in how God was working in the world from law to grace, from visible divine miracles to an unseen faith in the resurrected Lord.
When passages and instructions in the Bible
fall under another dispensation, this means they describe a time when God was
doing a different work, and required a different response from humanity.
Today, people must only obey God’s
instructions given to the Apostle Paul, or they will be in disobedience to
If God expects us to respond to him by faith in Christ’s cross, and we respond to him with sacrifices under the law, or our good works, we would be wrong.
When people refuse
dispensational understanding, they are opening the door to disobedience and
ignorance of God’s will. The church in America and evangelical Christianity at
large has resisted dispensational teaching for nearly a century. As a result,
there is more confusion about God’s will, and lack of understanding about the
Bible than there was a century ago. ——– To be continued