Do you know what a dispensation is and how relevent it to us?
Have you ever wondered what happens to those people in countries that never hear the Gospel? Do these people face eternal damnation, when they’ve never seen a missionary? If the blood of Jesus is the only way to salvation, then, what hope is there for these forgotten people?
I believe scripture shows us, that heathen nations are not responsible for what they haven’t been told. As a result of not hearing the Law or the gift of Salvation through the Grace of God, they are still under the Dispensation of Conscience. But what about:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. KJV
We know the above scripture is truth, but, where there is no law there can be no transgression, right?
The New Testament was originally written in Greek and the Old Testament in Hebrew.
Gentile [Gk. ethnos]: heathens, multitude or company, a multitude of people of the same nature or genus. A nation, people, singular or plural.
Dispensation [Gk oikonomia]: A period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. The central idea of the word dispensation is that of managing the household. The word dispensation used in scripture may be defined as a stewardship, administration, oversight or management of others property. This involves responsibilty, accountability, and faithfulness on the part of the steward, primarily a stewardship arrangement and not a period of time (but obviously the arrangment will exist during a period of time .... a dispensation is the arrangement not the time involved.)
Before the Law of Moses there were "four dispensations". Why were there so many? What was the reason for each one? What do they have in common and what bearing do they have on us today?
Adam and Eve
1. The Dispensation of Innocence: from the creation of man to the fall of man. [Genesis 1:26 through 3:21]
This is the time span from the creation of Adam and Eve, to the eating of the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve immediately lost their innocence as well as the spiritual covering they were under, and they knew it! The nakedness they saw and felt was spiritual shame.
Since God told them not to touch the fruit from this particular tree, they
transgressed against the law given to them, and sinned. If God hadn’t told them not to eat the fruit, they wouldn’t have been guilty of a transgression.
As a result of this sin, God sacrificed the life of an innocent animal for the skin, to be used as a covering for their nakedness. This is the first “blood sacrifice” for the sin of man. This sacrifice clearly points us to the shed blood and covering of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE FIVEFOLD JUDGMENT UPON SIN:
UPON MAN: wearisome toil
UPON WOMAN: Suffering in childbirth, Subordination to man
UPON NATURE: Thorns and thistles, Aimlessness
UPON THE SERPENT: To crawl upon his belly
UPON SATAN: To suffer a fatal head wound
THE FOURFOLD GRACE OF GOD:
HE PROMISED ADAM A SAVIOR
HE SOUGHT ADAM OUT
HE REMOVED ADAM FROM THE GARDEN
HE CLOTHED ADAM
WHAT ADAM INTRODUCED / JESUS DEALT WITH:
GEN 2:17 DEATH HEB 2:9 DEATH
GEN 3:7 NAKEDNESS JN 19:23 NAKEDNESS
GEN 3:14 CURSE GAL 3:13 CURSES
GEN 3:17 SORROW ISA 53:3 SORROW
GEN 3:18 THORNS JN 19:5 THORNS
GEN 3:19 SWEAT LK 22:44 SWEAT
GEN 3:24 SWORD JN 19:34 SWORD
2. Dispensation of Conscience: From the fall of man to the flood [Gen 3:7 through 8:14]
Conscience [Gk. suneidesis]: That process of thought which distinguishes moral goodness, master. The reason for this dispensation was to show man how sinful he could be, having a total disregard for others.
The apostle Paul described this dispensation"
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
This dispensation saw Cain kill his brother Abel. The times of Noah were sordid beyond any full description. There was violence, murder, perversion, and all kinds of rebellion against God.
There also was great wealth, with a refined culture and a love of art, and music. This same scenario describes ancient Rome and Greece. This also describes modern times in America!
The Word tells us that in the end times the days of Noah will as is being repeated:
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
God used the flood to purge this planet of all sin, and corruption. With the flood came the end of this dispensation.
And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
The same God who hates sin, and will judge it severely, is the same
loving Father who cares for His own. His promise is to never destroy the earth with water again.
3. Dispensation of Civil Government: From the flood of Noah to Babel
God gave Noah and his descendents laws to govern the human race:
A. Repopulate the Earth ... Gen 9:1,7
B. Exercise dominion over the animals ... Gen 9:2
C. Eat meat as well as fruits and vegetables ... Gen 9:3
D. Don’t eat the flesh of animals containing the blood ... Gen 9:4
E. Institute capital punishment for murder ... Gen 9:5-6
This is the first time God gave man the authority to govern man UNDER GOD!
The reason for God prohibiting man from eating the blood of animals is life is in the blood! Again, we are being pointed toward the Blood of Jesus Christ!
Capitol punishment has been given to teach man the value of life.
I want to pause here and mention the beautiful gift God gave to mankind, in the form of the rainbow.
For part 2 click NEXT