|On Mount Sinai God gave Moses the law which can be divided into three parts:
MORAL CIVIL CEREMONIAL
A. MORAL LAW OR TEN COMMANDMENTS: Ex 20:1-17
These laws controlled the individual life of a person. The first four laws dealt with the persons relationship with God, the next six dealt with the persons relationship with his neighbor.
B. CIVIL LAW or the JUDGMENTS: Ex 21:1 thru 23:33
These laws relate to the nation and social affairs. All of the legislation of the United States is based upon these laws, such as: protecting the innocent, the punishment of criminals; the laws of justice and equality, human rights, and property rights
With the acceptance of abortion and the high divorce rate, along with no prayer in school, our wonderful country has swayed far from the Judeo-Christian beliefs that made this country so great!
C. CEREMONIAL LAW or the ORDINANCES: Ex 24:12 thru 31:16
This governed the religious life of the children of Israel. During this despensation the tabernacle [later the temple at Jerusalem] was the place God dwelt. This tabernacle was ordained, designed, and occupied by God.
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. KJV
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. KJV
At the completion of making the tabernacle as GOD ordered, the same pillar of a cloud and pillar of fire not only covered it, but filled it!! Praise God!
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle
God gave this cloud and fire as proof of His presence, love, and care. This cloud and fire were with them, until they reached the Promised Land; forty years later.
Again, we are being pointed toward Jesus Christ, and this time to the Holy Ghost as well. The Lord not only dwells with us, but the Holy Ghost continually directs the path of God's true children, those that are born again, washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and living their lives for their LORD!
The purpose of these laws is to reveal to man the Holiness of God, and His desire to have a Holy People! God intended that the children of Israel would be the leading nation of the earth. God's purpose was the same as during the dispensation of promise; only now man had the law.
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator KJV
Gal 3:19 Amp Bible
What then was the purpose of the law? It was added (later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt) because of transgress- ions and (to make men more conscious of the sinful- ness) of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the seed (the descendant, the heir) should come, to and concerning whom the promise had been made. And it (the law) was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels (and was given) by the hand (in the person) of a go between (Moses, an intermediary person between God and man).
As we know the seed is Jesus Christ! Praise God! The law was given due to transgressions, or to reveal sin as a transgression of the law.
Rom 4:15 "For where no law is, there is no transgression."
Before the law was given there was sin. But a child doesn't become disobedient in doing wrong, until he's told what the rules are. If he then "breaks the rules", he is guilty of transgressing against authority.
Again, man failed God as he has in every dispensation so far. Each of the past dispensations manifested two things:
A. The ever increasing evidence of the sin and guilt of man.
B. The ever unfolding plan of God to send a Redeemer to the world.
God has shown us this through animal sacrifices:
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. KJV
God was pointing to the Savior who was yet to come. Let's take a quick review of these dispensations, and see how God pointed us toward Jesus Christ.
1. Dispensation of Innocence: God announced the Redeemer would be of the seed of the woman.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. KJV
This verse predicts the victory for humankind and God over Satan. There
is to be a spiritual war between the "seed" of the woman, which is Jesus Christ, and the "seed" of the serpent, which is Satan, and his followers. God promises that Christ will be born of a woman, and He would be bruised through the crucifixion. But Jesus would rise again, and destroy Satan (bruising) him.
2. Dispensation of Conscience: God continued the revelation by accepting Abel's blood sacrifice, and refusing Cain's offering, which was fruit of the ground.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell KJV
3. Dispensation of Human Government: A blessing was pronounced upon Shem, through whom the seed would come.
Gen 9:26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant KJV
God is telling us that Jesus Christ will come from the bloodline of Shem, in this ninth chapter.
4. Dispensation of Promise: It was revealed that the Redeemer would come from the nation of Israel, and from the tribe of Judah
Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. KJV
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. KJV
Gen 49:10 The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh (the Messiah, the peaceful one) comes to whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Amp Bible
5. Dispensation of the Law: God promised David that his family would bring forth the SAVIOR!
2 Sam 7:12-16
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
God's covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
This brings us to the present dispensation, which we are so blessed to be under.
6. Dispensation of Grace: From the first arrival of Jesus Christ to His second coming (Matt 3:1 thru Rev 19:21)
Grace [Heb. Charis]: that which gives pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard; unmerited favor.
This dispensation is called Grace, because of the fullness of the grace of God being manifested to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
John 1:17 For while the law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ. Amp Bible
Gen 22:13 God's grace has always been evident here on earth; we just have to look at God's covering Adam and Eve with the animal skin pointing to Jesus, that was grace
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord: Gen 6:8.
It was grace which gave Abraham the ram to sacrifice in place of his son Issac: Gen 22:13.
When Moses lifted the serpent on a rod while in the wilderness; as a type of Christ being lifted on the cross bringing healing and salvation to the people, that was grace: Num 21:5-9.
While God showed grace throughout the ages, it wasn't until the Dispensation of Grace that He poured out His grace, without measure through Jesus Christ.
What God gives, man can neither earn nor repay. The gifts from God such as: salvation, baptism in the Holy Ghost, divine healing, just to name a few, are given through the Grace of God.
2 Cor 5:18-19
But all things are from God, who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself (received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself) and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation (that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him). It was God (personally present) in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against (men) their trespasses (but cancelling them), and committ- ing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). Amp Bible
What a wonderful gift salvation is. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we can be restored and brought into a oneness with the LORD, having every one of our sins totally forgotten never to be held against us.
The contrast between the Law of Moses during the dispensation of the law, and the Grace of God during the Dispensation of Grace is as follows:
A. The Law demanded Holiness ... Grace Gives Holiness.
B. Under the Law sheep died for the shepherd ... under Grace the shepherd died for the sheep.
C. The Law condemned the best man ... Grace saves the worst sinner.
D. The Law of Moses cursed the sinner ... Grace blesses the believer.
E. The Law of Moses revealed man's sin ... Grace covers man's sin.
F. The Law placed man under bondage ......... Grace sets the prisoner free
Only through Jesus Christ can we find redemption!
1 Tim 2:5 For there (is only) one God, and (only) one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Amp Bible
In reviewing the last pages of this study, I still come to the conclusion that the heathen nations which haven't heard the Law, never come under the Law. It appears to me, these nations will be judged according to their obedience at following the dictates of their conscience.
We need to continue the financial support of our missionaries, as well as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever we can. I do know that we serve a completely loving God, who wishes none to perish. Praise God!
|Dispensations part 3|