Dispensations are the divine administrations of human history and also connote stewardship, or shepherdship. 

Dispensations refer to various time periods or epochs; age, or ages; and “times and seasons” as stated by Christ Himself, in Acts 1:3 (reference with Matthew 10:30; Mark 10:30; Luke 1:70; 18:30; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 2:5). “Stewardship” is used by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:17; and “dispensation” Ephesians 1:10; 3:2; Colossians 1:25. 

It is imperative that the believer understand that God does not change (doctrine of immutability)! Perfection is divine. Perfect righteousness cannot change else it is not perfection. In God’s Essence, there is “no variation, or shifting shadow” (James 1:17). Change, in how God administers justice and righteousness, however, is an integral characteristic as God deals with the nations, cultures and circumstances in any given period of time. God administrates His Plan for His Creation throughout human history and pre-time-history — from the original creation of the spirit world (angels) to the end of time at the Consummation.

Jesus Christ is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega. Even so come quickly LORD JESUS (Revelation 22:12-17).

Think of it this way: The changes God incorporates into His Plan were PRE-designed to attain His unchanging purpose (Hebrews 6:17). Dispensations enable the believer  to handle the Word of Truth accurately and to appreciate the lovingkindness of God. For example: Any study of the Bible must distinguish between Israel and the Church. This contrast is a recurring theme in the New Testament (See Acts 10:45; Romans 11:25; Galatians 6:15;  Ephesians 2:11-12; Hebrews 3:5-6).

Jesus Christ is the KEY to the Divine revelations and presentation of history  (Ephesians 3:10-11; Revelations 1:8). The doctrine of dispensations keeps the spotlight on Jesus Christ, which is imperative to understanding not only history, but the unrolling scroll of time. The recognition of historical eras in the Bible is the mystery key that unlocks the Scriptures, revealing profound  truths with tremendous positive impact on our faith-lives,  past,  present, and future.

Divine revelation of Human history in Scripture, may be classified into six basic ages or time periods:

1).  Adam to Abraham  (Age of the Gentiles)

2).  Abraham to Christ – Age of Jews (Israel)

3). Hypostatic Union  – Incarnation to Pentecost

4). Dispensation of Grace – Church Age – Pentecost to Rapture

5). Tribulation – last week (seven years) of Jewish Age (69 weeks of seven years each have already been completed} or “Daniel’s Seventieth Week.” Culminates with the Second coming of Christ/Messiah.

6).  Millennium – 1000 year reign of Messiah (Age of Christ to Great White Throne Judgment).

7). New Heaven, New Earth – Eternity (And so shall we ever be with the Lord). Amen.

Eschatology, is the study of the final destiny of the human race. In each of these seven time periods or  administrations of God’s Eternal Plan for mankind, God has a particular plan for the believer’s POST salvation way of life.

We recommend that you examine and meditate on 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16,17, as well as the following verses with the divine administrations of history in mind.  Acts 1:6-7; Romans 8:18; 11:5; 13:11; 16:25; Ephesians 2: 11, 12. Consider also: John 16:12-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. Please notice that it was our Lord’s extensive dispensational teaching that prompted the disciples questions in Matthew 5:17; cf., 24:3. 

In closing: The understanding of  dispensational interpretation of history, reveals God’s integrated, unchanging  Grace purpose for mankind, for the history of time, and for eternity. Creation itself is a Divine Administration!

The times and seasons of man for the Glory of God.  Once human history has run it’s course through time, time will end and eternity will continue as always and always. Amen and Amen.   When all of time-history is done, volition will be abolished because choosing God since the Fall of Adam, is a forever thing. The only angels, and the only humans in eternity will be the chosen ones who responded to God’s call.  What a Plan!  What a Savior! What a God! What a Holy, Holy, Holy, Spirit! GOD IS fascinating. There are no dispensations in eternity. Eternity is ageless. 

C. S. Craig

Happy studying in Fields of Grace.

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