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seven dispensations

Ephesians 1:10 “That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”


What is the dispensation of the fullness of the times?


Through the centuries theologians have discovered that God deals with humanity through differing epochs of time called dispensations.

Each dispensation of time differs from another by the rules under which God deals with humanity in each unique dispensation of time.

Theologians also figure out that there are seven such dispensations revealed in Scripture, with the last dispensation being the dispensation of rest, also known as the Kingdom Age, when Jesus will rule and reign over the entire world and all of its inhabitants for one thousand years.


There were only two people under the jurisdiction of the first dispensation, Adam and Eve, and their time in the Garden is called the dispensation of innocence, and it was the first dispensation, and there was only one rule that applied to them while in Paradise:


Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”


After Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God’s command not to eat of the fruit that would cause them to become self-aware, they were driven out of the Garden Paradise and into a different place and dispensation.


Although we are not told how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden before they sinned, we know that the next dispensation that they were put under lasted 1,656 years, and ended with Noah’s flood.


This new dispensation was called the dispensation of conscience because Adam and Eve and their descendants became very much aware of their nakedness that they inherited through Adam and Eve’s disobedience.


Genesis 6:5 “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”


Once man became self-aware of his sinful nature and realized the hopelessness of his situation, eventually he gave himself to think of only evil continually, and became in their consciences worthless to God, who then had no choice but to swiftly destroy them.


In both judgments, the dispensation of innocence and the dispensation of conscience, the judgment of God was final. What that means is that we can never come to God again in innocence or in conscience, in innocence because all the descendants of Adam and Eve are conceived and born in the consequences of their sin which is death, we are born mortals. And in conscience because our carnal minds are enmity to the Word of God.


Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”


So that through Adam and Eve we’ve not only inherited corrupt bodies that lost their innocence, but we also inherited a corrupted mind that can never be brought under the jurisdiction of the Word of God.


1 Corinthians 2:16 “...But we have the mind of Christ.”


Just in case some of you were wondering about our present estate of mind. Our sinfulness is blotted out by the blood of Jesus and our old mind set is replaced by the mind of Christ which is given to us at the time when we become born again.


Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death (because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to the Word of God), but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (because the words of Jesus are Spirit and they are life).”


Now our next dispensation was not judged completely when they rebelled against God, for its final day of judgment has been reserved for the day of the dispensation of the fullness of the times, which is where this lesson is headed, but first let me enumerate the rest of the dispensations so that we can put them all into the proper context.


Genesis 11:8-9 “So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel (means confusion), because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”


After the flood of Noah’s day, all the waters that were in and around the poles of the earth froze immediately, leaving the water levels of the oceans a lot lower than they are today, and causing a land bridge between the continents.


It was God’s plan for humans after the flood to migrate to all the continents and fill the earth before the majority of the ice melted, which that happened during the days of Peleg when the land bridges that connected the continents were divided, buy submersion or by the melting away of the ice that connected some of the land masses.


But mankind had other plans, they wanted to make a name for themselves, so they congregated together in rebellion against God’s command, and decided to build a tower that reached to the heavens, but God just simply confused their languages so that they could not communicate with one another, and so they scattered through the continents as was God’s original purpose, but God did not fully judge them at that time.


Their dispensation was called human government, or what the book of Revelation calls, the kingdoms of this world, and they are very much still around today, for their dispensation has not yet been brought to a close.


Today the European Union headquarters is a building that looks like an unfinished tower of Babel, for after all it will be the revived Roman empire whom prophecy foretells will give all its power to the antichrist to face Jesus during the final battle of Armageddon.


Since mankind could not save themselves in innocence, or through their own consciences, or even when the power of human government did not bring about obedience to the commandments of God, that was when God decided to introduce His Promise.


When the dispensation of promise is completed it will be known as the dispensation of the fullness of the times, for its at that time that God will bring to a close all the yet to be finally judged dispensations.


Genesis 12:7 “Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.”


When God entered into a covenant with Abraham it was a two-fold covenant, a covenant that spans two dispensations. For out of that covenant comes the nation of Israel and their deliverer, Moses, through whom the dispensation of law was given.


And the promise of salvation for the Gentile nations was given through the dispensation of grace by the Lord Himself in His Gospel.


John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”


Ephesians 3:1-2 “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you.”


So here is a list of the seven dispensations:


  • The dispensation of innocence.

  • The dispensation of conscience.

  • The dispensation of human government.

  • The dispensation of promise.

  • The dispensation of law.

  • The dispensation of grace.


That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ.


And after all the above dispensations are finally completed, then all the believers that come out of every dispensation will be resurrected each in their time and ushered into the final dispensation of God’s rest, to rule and reign with Christ for one thousand years.


The seventh is the dispensation of rest, or what will probably be called at that time the Kingdom Age.


Now why are all these unfinished dispensations relevant to us today?


Scripture teaches us that before God brings something or someone into the judgment, he restores them into the condition that they were in when they first rebelled, so that we know for a fact that the dispensation of the fullness of the times judgment cannot begin until all the yet to be judged dispensations appear together at the same time in history, since we also know that God is going to judge them all in the same period of time.


The judgment and restoration of Peter gives us an example of how God will bring about the judgment of the dispensations.


Peter got saved after he witnessed the miracle of the catch of fish in his net, which he lowered into the sea at the command Jesus, even after fishing all night and catching nothing.


Peter rejected Jesus while hanging around a fire just trying to keep warm the night that Jesus was arreste. He was confronted by a girl who accused him of being one of Jesus’ disciples.


John chapter 21 tells us that Jesus appeared to Peter again after he was fishing all night and did not catch anything, Jesus tells him to cast the net on the right side of the boat and a miracle happens again, the net is full of fish. Then when Peter drags the net to shore he finds that Jesus had kindled a fire of coals with fish and bread on it.


So that all of the elements are in place to bring Peter back in his soul to the places of where he experienced his salvation and to the place where his rejection took place as well, then Jesus asks Peter a very simple question, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?


Peter was not only judged there, but he was restored there as well.


We witnessed in the twentieth century something that had never happened before in the history of mankind, the dispensations of human government, law and grace all came together for the first time in the same form in which they were after God had dispersed them.


The Jews who were driven from the Holy Land after as a nation they rejected Jesus as their Messiah, were once again restored as a nation back to the land where they were driven from 1,900 years ago, while still rejecting Jesus as their Messiah as a nation, so that the dispensation of law which came through the nation of Israel and it must be judged in the nation of Israel was set in place awaiting their final judgment.


The kingdoms of this world who have been scattered since the days when Nimrod was cut to pieces for his rebellion against God over 4,000 year ago, came together once again as one group in the middle of the twentieth century as the United Nations, where all their many languages can be translated instantly and a speaker can be understood by all the different nations no matter what language he speaks.


It was also in the middle of the twentieth century that the apostolic revival began to take roots within the church once again.


So that the three dispensations whose judgment it is yet to be finalized are presently in their prophetic places, Israel, the church, and the United Nations, all awaiting for the fulfillment of God’s promised conclusion to be meted out to them at their appointed time.


Matthew 25:31-34 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”


I believe that the last piece that has to fall into place before the final judgment begins is the United States government. Our constitution has been a great hurdle that those who longed for the revived Roman empire and the new world order have not been able to overcome until now.


After years of brainwashing the American populace, through all kinds of mediums, into having an open disregard for the constitution and the values that it fosters, this is the closest that they have come to succeeding, for our present day government is in total disregard for constitutional law and it is not being held accountable for it.


If America does not recover from this evil that has befallen it, and I do not see any of our leaders calling for a nation wide repentance, then our time here on this earth is pretty much over I believe.


Let us continue to pray for His preservation for those of us who believe.

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