Unger's Bible Dictionary holds that: a dispensation is an Era of Time during which man is tested with respect to obedience to some definite revelation of God's Will.
Thus, God has set before Mankind, at different times, various commands or orders to be obeyed. Those who are obedient, receive God's Favor and Blessings, for that Time Period. Those who aren't ... don't!
Some Scriptures or Laws of God were given for only one set time or Dispensation. These are classified as Dispensational Laws. Others were intended for ALL TIME. And these are called Perpetual Statues. And, we need to be clear on separating out those apples from oranges, as we read and interpret the Scriptures!
The most obvious error here is by those who claim that the whole Old Testament needs to be thrown out and disregarded, because we are now in the Christian Era (not the Old Testament Jewish Era). However, even the New Testament itself tells us that: ALL SCRIPTURE (both Old and New) is good for doctrine and teaching (2 Timothy 3:16). Moreover, Y'Shua or Jesus HIMSELF tells us to use both Old and New (Matthew 13:52) and that the Laws of God (especially the 10 Commandments) were to be upheld through ALL TIME (Matthew 5:17-19)!
So, just how many of these Dispensations or Eras of Time are there, in the Holy Scriptures?
So, what are these Eras or Dispensations?
1. THE DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCE - Garden of Eden:
This Era began with the Creation of Mankind. Man was made in God's Image to be HIS companion, as an immortal spiritual being. And, symbolic of this, woman was made and given to man to be his companion and helper. This was, indeed, an ideal state or utopia! The only rule Mankind had to keep was to NOT eat of the Tree of Good and Evil! However, the woman was seduced by the Serpent and led man into Sin against God. Consequently, this glorious Era came to an end at the Expulsion of Mankind from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24).
| 2. THE DISPENSATION OF CONSCIENCE
- Adamaic Era: |
Excluded from God's Presence, Mankind now had to govern himself: restraining himself and abstaining from every evil act while also pursuing all good actions. And, to make up for his own failures, he was to offer blood sacrifices of animals, to atone for his Sin. However, Mankind developed such a defective conscience, that he degenerated into the worst forms of evil (Genesis 6:1-7), so ALL of Mankind was destroyed in the Great Flood (where Noah and his family escaped to start anew).
3. THE DISPENSATION OF DIVINE GOVERNMENT - Ancient Royal Era:
After the Great Flood of Noah, God instituted the NOAHIC RULES OF FELLOWSHIP for Mankind to know and obey (Genesis 9:8-17). And, to facilitate this, there arose a variety of human governments (on the Monarchial--father of the nation--Model) to watch over the people to be sure that their conscience did not become defective, and thus not stop the individual from Gross or Mortal Sin. (Consequently, Era 2 and 3 overlap each other a bit!) However, the Ancient Royal Governments fell into Idolatry, and tended to lead the people astray, rather than keep them in Ways of God!
4. THE DISPENSATION OF THE DIVINE FAMILY - Tribal Patriarchal Era:
As the surrounding governments degenerated into idolatry, God Called Abraham and gave him the Promise--and to ALL of his Descendants (Genesis 12:1-3). Correspondingly, Patriarchs were set up to oversee their Family (i.e. extended Family or Clan) members, to be sure that their conscience did not become defective. (Thus, Era 2 and 4 seem to overlap a bit, as well.) However, the weakeness of the Family (and their bickering, dis-unity, and Sin) caused the Tribes to be drawn back under the Idolatrous governments, where they pursued evil with the heathens, in Egypt!
5. THE DISPENSATION OF THE LAW - Congregational Teachers' (Elders):
To rescue HIS People from the clutches of Idolatry, God sent Moses, with the Divine LAW, which was revealed to Mankind after the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 19:5-8). And, to uphold this LAW, there arose a variety of Congregational Teachers (and overseers or Elders) to make certain that the People knew exactly what God wanted--as well as to watch over the members of the Flock, to be sure that their individual conscience did not become defective. (Thus, Era 2 and 5 also seem to overlap! Moreover, as these Teachers became swayed by Pagan myths and fanciful stories, God attempted to mix in some of Era 3 by setting up the Kingdoms of Saul, David, and Solomon!) However, the People of God (and Descendants of Abraham) continued to slide away from the Ways of God!
6. THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE - Gentile Church Era: |
As God's People, the Descendants of Abraham (Jews, Ishmaelites, etc.), slid away from HIM, God sent HIS only begotten Son, to die of the Cross, as an atonement (or payment for ALL Sin), for all of Mankind! Thus, with the Crucifixion, came the open door to all the Gentiles all over the world! (1 Corinthians 9:17 and Ephesians 3:1-7) Moreover, the precious Holy Spirit was given to such Belivers (with the Indwelling) to help them walk in the Ways of God (Colossians 1:25-27). However, the Gentiles clung to their old Pagan ways and did not fully embrace the Ways of God (and Holiness)! And have found the ways of the wicked world all too inviting (even down to our modern times).
7. MESSIANIC-KINGDOM DISPENSATION - The Return Movement:
With the recapture of Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967 by the Jews, we have entered a New Dispensation! (Luke 21:24) It is NOW Time for a RETURN of ALL of God's People (the Descendants of Abraham) to HIM. And, thus we come to the End of the Dispensations (and to the doors of the End Times, as well). Now, just what is suppose to go on in this Dispensation? Well, that is quite controversial! So, let us look at it in more detail, below.
But, for now, what is happening in Our own TIMES?
Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with that Teaching! For one thing, the Messianic (Jewish-Christian) RETURN or ShuVaH is exploding, now! Not since the Days of the original Apostles have so many Jews found Y'Shua to be their Messiah and come to God through the Cross! (For more details on this Movement, see Our EMUSPATEL PAGES!) Thus, the Jews are RETURNING ***NOW***, but the expected Rapture has NOT yet occured.
Secondly, such a timeline breaks the outline of the Levitical Calendar, which more clearly shows that we are at Pentecost in God's Time Table, than at the Feast of Trumpets and the Rapture! (For more details, see Our Article on KEEPING THE CALENDAR!)
Thirdly, such a Teaching breaks Hosea's Prophecy, that the RETURN will occur in 2 Days (2,000 years), as it is now. And that the Rapture and Millenial Reign of Christ will come after another Day (1,000 years) or 3rd Day! Yes, see Hosea 6:2! So, what will happen in the extra Thousand years? It will be a promised Era of Rest, due to the rise of robotics and automation. (See Our Article on The ERA OF REST!)
Yet, perhaps most important of all, it leaves a variety of Scriptural Prophecies unfulfill. God still has more to finish, before HE takes us home to be with HIM! For example, consider the abundance of Scriptures on the coming activities of Mankind out among the Stars! (See Our Article on INTERSTELLAR PASSAGES!) And, we are not there, yet.
Thus, the Religious Establishment is mis-interpreting the Signs of Our Times! (Much as they did in the Days of Jesus, refusing to recognize HIM as the True Messiah!) So, what do the Scriptures actually say about the New Messianic Kingdom Dispensation?
However, perhaps having a deeper understanding of God and how HE works, we tend to see a long term development occuring here, that will eventually usher in the coming Messianic Kingdom, but by slow and steady steps. Not by sudden flash and Rapture. Consequently, we see a lot of work ahead. (But others are just lazy and don't want to put their hand to the plow--and labor for God's Kingdom.)
So, what do we see happening? Well, the Messianic RETURN of the Jews is already occuring. (For more details on this Movement, see Our EMUSPATEL PAGES!) Along with this, we have developing a Nordic RETURN or a Return to God among the Northern Peoples, who are the main descendants of the Northern Kindgom of Isreael. (For more details on this Northmen RETURN, see Our NORDESEL PAGES!) Soon to come is a RETURN among the Ishmaelites or Arabs and Muslims, for they will also be part of the Regathered Israel. (For more details on this Arab Movement, see Our APPIRU PAGES!) And, these 3 Main branches of the Descendants of Abraham (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) will come together into a Spiritual Realm or Holy Body of Israel, that will continue to grow, untill the full Messianic Kingdom is reached. (For more details on this Spiritual Realm and its accompanying Meshianite Movement, see Our KoReY TRI-UNITY PAGE!) For, the Meshianite Realm or Religious Body will come first (see KoReY, below), and then the Holy Nation or Astaria or Israel out in Space.
Since God gave the MAJOR SIGN of the Recapture of Jerusalem by the Jews, the Gentile Churches (and the Religious Establishment of Our Days) have been content to remain in their comfortable Dispensation of Grace. And despite their being prodding, and getting messages from God (through us), they have steadfastly planted their feet, and have refuse to enter into the New Dispensation of the Messianic Kingdom. So, what will their epitaph be?
Consequently, we look forward to the year 2007 when it will be 40 years or exactly one generation since the Sign of Jerusalem. Perhaps, by then, most of the Era of Grace Church-goers will have died off (as happened in the Wilderness, under Moses). And we should be ready to enter that Dispensation of the Messianic Kingdom, as God had intended! Thus, we look forward to 2007 being a Red Banner year for us. (And, coincidently, might this also have something to do with the Bible Code predictions of the Nuclear Holocaust in the years 2004 and 2006? Well, perhaps this is, ideed, the Nova Crisis that Our Labs have been discussing? Unfortunately, there is no firm Word of the Lord on this yet. But, it certainly bears watching! For the DISPENSATION is changing!)
So, don't hang back with the Old Dispensation. Get into the New Generation. And start working for God's expressed will for Our Times--the Rise of the Messianic Kingdom!
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Filed: 04-17-00 . . . Up-dated: 09-19-03