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Showing posts from July, 2018

Seven Dispensations

By following the identifying marks of a biblical dispensation (see last post), I see seven dispensations in human history, with the eighth and final dispensation being the eternal state. In the Bible, seven is God's number of perfection and eight is the number of a new beginning.

It is important to understand that dispensations are not cut and dried time periods and that there is overlapping (e.g. conscience and human government) and transitions (Gospels – OC to NC, Prophecy to Fulfillment; Acts – Law to Grace, Israel to Body, Peter to Paul; Hebrews – OC to NC, Tribulation to Kingdom).

By gaining a basic understanding of the different dispensations, we gain a general framework of the whole Bible.

I. Innocence (Gen. 1-3)
A. Revelation – Man was created in the image of God and given dominion on the earth. God placed the man and woman in a perfect garden and told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.
B. Spokesman – God
C. Responsibility – Adam was to dress and kee…

Biblical Dispensations

The word “dispensation” is used four times in the Bible by the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25). A dispensation is basically a dealing out, distribution, or dispensing of something. It is an administration or stewardship. The Bible was given by progressive revelation. A biblical dispensation is a dispensing of divine revelation. It is a particular way that God deals with man. Dispensations are not periods of time. Ages are periods of time (Eph. 2:7; 3:5), but dispensations operate within ages. 
A biblical dispensation is marked by five things: 1.Divine revelation (brings about clear change in God’s dealings with men) 2.Human spokesman (e.g. Moses for the Law and Paul for the Mystery) 3.Human responsibility to the revelation (testing)  4.Human failure (every dispensation ends in apostasy except the last one) 5.Divine judgment 
There are at least five different dispensations that the apostle Paul refers to: 1.Promise (Gal. 3:16-18) – began with Abraham (2,000 BC) 2.Law (Gal.…

The Threefold Division of Scripture

In Ephesians 2 the apostle Paul shows us how to rightly divide the word of truth. Since he is the only one in the Bible who tells us to rightly divide, doesn't it makes sense that we should look to him for an example of how to do it?

In the first part of the chapter (vs.1-10), Paul talks about the past, present, and future of individual believers:
1. Time past (vs.1-3)
2. We are (vs.4-6, 8-10)
3. Ages to come (v.7)

In the latter part of the chapter he talks about believing Gentiles as a whole:
1. Time past (vs.11-12)
2. But now (vs.13-22)
3. Ages to come (v.7)

I. Time Past (vs.11-12)
The terms “circumcision” and “uncircumcision” identify a basic physical and social distinction; one that was in the flesh and made by hands. In time past the Gentiles were also spiritually alienated from God and thus said to be “without Christ." That was their condition because they were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” and “strangers from the covenants of promise.” So, the physi…