Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Is a Dispensation In Scriptures ?

Did you know that the "nails" did not hold Jesus up on the
cross until He died for your sins ? He could have come down any time
He chose to ! The only thing that kept Jesus Christ..your SAVIOR
up on the cross......



Section 1: Article on (Dispensations)
Section 2: Notes on Dispensations from the Scofield Reference Bible
I. Introduction and Definition
A (dispensation ) is a (period of time) which is identified by its relation to some( particular purpose of God). [1] As used in the Greek New

Testament, the word is OIKONOMIA (Strong's No. 3622) and is defined as a stewardship, administration, management, direction, arrangement,

order, or plan. [2] Practically speaking, (dispensationalism) speaks of the differences between the (administration) of human affairs within the

1. From Adam to Abraham, for example, when God's administration of human affairs focused on the entire race as descended from Adam.
2. From Abraham to Christ, when God's administration of human affairs focused on one particular family, descendants of Abraham. During this

period of time, or age, a distinction is drawn between two divisions of humanity--Jew and Gentile.
3. From Christ until now, and beyond for an undisclosed period of time; when God's administration of human affairs focuses on one particular

people, comprised of Jew and Gentile alike in one body--the Church.
Technically speaking, then, the concept of dispensations and dispensationalism sets forth a principle in Scripture as follows: God places

humanity under different and progressive operational temporal conditions, for specific and instructional eternal purposes..
1. These conditions are laid out in various revealed covenants..
2. These conditions are instructional to us (Gal. 3:24; Rom. 15:4), as well as to the angelic realm of creation (Eph. 3:10).
The concept of a dispensation is seen in the parable of Luke 16, and the details of a "generic" dispensation are seen.
1. Two parties (v.1): (a) the delegator of duties and (b) the one responsible for performing them.
2. Specific responsibilities are laid out, and understood by the one responsible for performing them (vv.1-3, context).
3. The Delegator holds the one responsible accountable (v.2).
4. As a result of failure, on the part of the one responsible, the stewardship is removed and changed (vv.2,3).
II. Development and Application
The simplest delineation of dispensational truth is to contrast the Old Testament with the New Testament. Any newborn, babe in Christ can

pick up his/her Bible and observe that basic division.
1. Old Testament: the administration of Law. God handed down the 10 commandments, and the entire Law of Moses. This presented humanity

with the responsibility to work and earn blessings. The end result, however, was to demonstrate that (man cannot possibly fulfill) such a high

(perfect) standard. Man cannot earn his way into heaven, and must be provided for in another way.
2. New Testament: the administration of Grace. God made provision through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the means by which mankind

may be restored to a relationship with Him. Jesus Christ performed the perfect work that mankind could not do, and paid the penalty for sin on

our behalf. The responsibility in this administration is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ AND TRUST HIM...ALONE FOR OUR SALVATION,AND

A more developed study is to view human history (as already mentioned in the introduction) and observe the distinctions between the

different groupings--Gentile, Jew, and Church.

Dispensations 2
1. The Age of the Gentiles. Prior to the calling out of Abraham, all of humanity was treated as one body. All were descendants of Adam. God

revealed Himself to various prophets (e.g. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Job).
2. The Age of the Jews. Following the calling out of Abraham (Gen. 12), a distinction begins to be drawn within humanity. Within the

descendants of Adam, a particular group is called out that are the descendants of Abraham. A division is drawn between Jews and Gentiles

(non-Jews). It is to the Jews that God reveals Himself (e.g. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the prophets, etc.). This does not mean

that God disregarded or ignored the Gentiles during these thousands of years, for there are many notable Gentiles to be found throughout the

Old Testament. The significance, though, is that the specific revelations, and the revealed Scriptures were given primarily to the Jews (Rom.

3. The Age of the Church. With the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross of Calvary, His FINISHED Work on the cross and only when first

revealed to Paul on the road to Damascus....., was a whole new revelation GIVEN as a NEW REVELATION, SECRET FROM THE BEGINNING

OF THE WORLD, A MYSTERY HID IN GOD and given to Paul from Jesus Christ about Grace and complete forgivieness of all our sins both

past and future, a wholly new administration was unveiled. This administration had been previously hidden and is referred to as a mystery

(Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9). During this age, there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col. 1:11).
Further, and more intricate developments can (and ultimately, should) be drawn in the observation and study of the significantly detailed

covenants within Scripture. These developments typically break down into a seven-fold division of human history from Adam, through Noah,

Abraham, Moses, David, Christ, and on to eternity. [3]
1. The Age of Innocence, from the creation of Adam and Eve until they fell into sin.
2. The Age of Conscience, from the fall into sin to Noah's flood.
3. The Age of Human Government, from Noah to Abraham.
4. The Age of Promise, from Abraham to Moses.
5. The Age of Law, from Moses to Christ.
6. The Age of Grace, from the time it was FIRST given to Paul ,(Romans 16:25) 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my

(PAUL'S) gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, ***FOR THE FIRST TIME***and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the

everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith, I Cor 2:7-8 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the

hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: ***FOR IF THEY HAD KNOWN IT***, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.(THAT


A SECRET HE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW YET ! I Cor 9:17 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a

(dispensation of the gospel) STARTING WITH PAUL) is committed unto me.Eph 3:2-7 2 If ye have heard of the (dispensation of the grace of



3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, WHEN YOU READ, ye may UNDERSTANDING my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,(EVEN TO THE 12 APOSTLES !!!) as it is (now ) NOT BEFORE...revealed unto

his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Col 1:25 25

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the (dispensation of God) which is given to me***FIRST*** for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of

glory: Col 2:12 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised

him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
I Thes 5:9 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, I Tim 1:11 According to the glorious

gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that****( in me first)**** Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which

should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. ! Tim 2:7 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in

Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the (mystery)of godliness: God

was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles,***AFTER...GIVEN TO PAUL*** believed on in the

world,(TODAY BY YOU) received up into glory. II Tim 1:10 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who

hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.(PROBABLY 13-14 YEARS AFTER THE CROSS !!!)

II Tim 1:11 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3:5 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and

renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Acts 22:3 ***** It is at this time the

MYSTERY of the Gospel of Grace and our God was first made known to any man !!!! ***** 3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus,

a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was

zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went

to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great

light round about me.
7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things

which are appointed for thee to do.
11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the

voice of his mouth.
15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them

that slew him.
21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.***(FOR THE FIRST TIME ANYBODY HEARD OF THE GOSPEL

OF GRACE APART FROM THE LAW !!!) *** Acts 26:10 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison,

having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted

them even unto strange cities.
and how he was miraculously converted, and called to be an apostle
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which

journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest

thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these

things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of

sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: Romans 1:16 His gospel and its righteousness
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also

to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 2:16 16 In the day

when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my( PAUL's) gospel. : Build on that foundation with gold and not sticks

of wood. *** WHY NOT CONSIDER WHAT PAUL SAYS ABOUT YOUR SALVATION ? II Tim 2:7 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee

***UNDERSTANDING*** in all things. Eph 3:1 Chapter 3
By revelation, Paul learned
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the (dispensation of the grace of God) which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the (mystery) ; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, WHEN YE READ, ye may *** UNDERSTAND *** my knowledge in the (Mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known***NOT ONE KNEW BEFORE THEN*** unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed***14 YEARS

AFTER THE CROSS*** unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all

things by Jesus Christ: UP TIL THE END OF AGE OR DISPENSATION of GRACE then :the rapture of the Church, TRIBULATION THEN...
7. The Age of Christ, His personal 1000 year reign, yet future.
The importance of UNDERSTANDING (dispensational truth).
We are commanded to do so! (2 Tim. 2:15) 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly

dividing the word of truth.
It is critical in avoiding error! Let us say that I commit a personal sin, an offence before God. Let us say, for the illustration that my sin is

stealing. What then, should be my activity/responsibility to deal with that sin, and restore my fellowship with the Lord?
Option #1. I might offer to the Lord a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin I have committed (Lev. 4:3ff.). I might bring the bull to the

front door of the church, lay my hand upon its head, and "slay the bull before the Lord." Then, I might ask the priest if he might take some of

the blood inside, and sprinkle it around in various places inside the church. Then of course, the entrails, and the hide have to be dealt with,

and so forth. [Does all of this seem silly to you? This is what the Bible says is the way to respond after your sin.. Ah........ but maybe that

(administration) OR (DISPENSATION) is no longer in effect . . .]
Option #2. I might simply pray to the Father, and just communicate that I will try to do better. He has (already forgiven) all your sins at the

cross. Don't ask him to do what he has already done in his finished work on the cross, (It is rediculous for your pastor to stand in front of you



Christ, that is if you think your pastor needs to some how complete what your Savior COULDN'T ACCOMPLISH HIMSELF AS HE SAID HE DID!

The New Testament's instruction in John to confess your sins is for those not already saved INTO the Body of Christ.
Granted, the illustration here presented is somewhat absurd, and intentionally so. No one today would realistically consider operating under

the animal sacrifice (administration) OR DISPENSATION). It does serve to point out, however, that the differences between the Old Testament

and the New Testament are significant. Other issues for consideration may not be as blatantly clear, but they are no less important for an

accurate handling.

III. Summary and Conclusion:

Rightly dividing the word of truth means that I must understand the (dispensational division) of human history.
The age in which I live is a unique age, with a unique responsibility. I am to fulfill that responsibility according to the conditions that are
Dispensations # 3...
laid down for me in the Scriptures (particularly, the New Testament) AND THE GOSPEL OF GOD, FIRST GIVEN TO PAUL AND ONLY HIM IN ALL


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