A. Dispensation of innocence: Age of LibertyFrom the creation of man, Gen1:26-27 - until Gen 3:6Man was given responsibility forbeing fruitful, subduing the earth,dominion over animals, eatingvegetables, caring for Eden.Not allowed to eat of the tree ofknowledge of good and evil - Evedid and Adam followed
A. Dispensation of innocence: Age of LibertyDivine judgment came, spiritualdeath, knowledge of sin, fear ofGod, loss of fellowship.
b. Dispensation of Conscience: Age of human determinationGen. 3:7-8:19The dispensation of conscienceconcerned the human conscienceand the convicting ministry ofthe Holy Spirit. Through theseGod restrained evil. However, thisdispensation tragically resulted inthe Flood as conscience makesus aware of sin but gives nopower to overcome...
b. Dispensation of Conscience: Age of human determination...Cain murders Abel,wickedness of human heartscontinues to increase etc.Resulting Judgment: TheFlood
c. Dispensation of Human Government: Covenant with NoahGen 8:20-11:9God told Noah to obey on thebasis of human conscience, therestraining ministry of the HolySpirit, and human government.Continued deterioration inhuman behaviour - Noah drunk,tower of Babel - yet grace shownin preserving a seed (Abram)
c. Dispensation of Human Government: Covenant with NoahResulting Judgment was speechconfounded, scattering of allmankind.Conscience and humangovernment continue - only toAbraham and his seed is thepromise applied.
d. Dispensation of Promise: Covenant with AbrahamGod’s blessing of Abraham (Gen.11:10- Ex 19:2).God expected Abraham to obeyhim on the basis of humanconscience, the restrainingministry of the Holy Spirit, humangovernment, and promise.
d. Dispensation of Promise: Covenant with AbrahamThe promise was to Abraham, hisseed (Israel) and to the wholeearth. Those who blessedAbraham were blessed and viceversa. Includes the promise of landfor Israel (forever) and be blessedin spiritual things and have thesign of circumcision (Gen17:13-14).
Unconditional covenant dependingupon God - only partially fulfilled inAbrahams time - yet it was declaredan everlasting covenant (Gen 17:7,13, 1 Chron 16:16-17)There are some lapses onAbraham’s part - Ishmael, nottelling the truth, going to Egypt.However Abraham did seem to growin faith - potential sacrifice of Isaac.Due to sinfulness, Jacob and hisdescendants ended up in captivity inEgypt - a pattern of sin whichcontinued in the wilderness.
The Resulting JudgmentdependingUnconditional covenant wasCaptivity in Egyptpartially fulfilled inupon God - only and wandering inthe desert. time - yet it was declaredAbrahamsan everlasting covenant (GenwhichMajor ideas in this covenant 17:7,13, important for building upon:are 1 Chron 16:16-17)There are some lapses onDivine sovereigntyAbraham’s part - to Israel notSpecial revelation Ishmael,telling the truth, going to Egypt.Grace of God in blessing andto growHowever Abraham did seemredemption of Israelin faith - potential sacrifice of Isaac.Promise of a witness to the worldDue to sinfulness, Jacob and hisFailed to bring conformitycaptivity indescendants ended up in to thewill of - a pattern in such laid aEgypt God - and of sin whichground forin the wilderness.continued the law to be given.
e. Dispensation of LawExodus 19:2 - Acts 2 (Pentecost)Directed to Israel alone - includedcommandments, judgements andordinances (see later in thecovenants). Included sacrifice andpriests, theocracy (underprophets, priests and kings)It was until Christ came - and wasconditional on obedience
e. Dispensation of LawIsrael failed miserably andrepeatedly fell into idolatry etc. forwhich she was led into captivity.The final tragedy was Christsdeath on the Cross.
Judgements included exilesand captivity - and fall ofJerusalem in AD70, dispersionof the nation around the world- and will include anothertime of Jacobs trouble and thetribulation (Jer 30:1-11, Dan12:1, Matt 24:22)Grace was shown in sacrificialsystem, provision of leadersand of course, Christ.
The moral principles of the lawstill apply even if the exactfollowing of it does not. Thelaw showed that every one wasguilty and in need of Christ.The greatest judgment wasChrists death on the Cross,because the Jewish peoplemissed Messiah when He came.
f. Dispensation of Grace Also Dispensation of Church, or Holy Spirit - Acts 2 until the Rapture. For the church alone - the world continues under conscience and human government. Salvation is shown clearly by faith alone.
Failure seen in people not acceptingChrist & the church not triumphing -there will be apostasy in the church(these will be left behind at therapture and judged)Unique to this dispensation, the HolySpirit baptizes and indwells everybeliever (Jew or Gentile). Through thismeans, believers function as salt andlight in this present world to restrainevil.Dispensation ends with the rapture ofthe church - and judgement of theprofessing church (Rev 17:16)
This dispensation is supreme inshowing grace in terms ofsalvation and the way of lifeThe Resulting Judgment is theRapture and the introduction ofthe Day of the Lord, as seen inthe Tribulation Period
f. Dispensation of the[millennial] Kingdom Begins with the second coming of Christ (Matt 24, Rev 19), preceded by the tribulation. All passages on the future kingdom, OT & NT, apply to this. Humans will obey the king who rules with a rod of iron (Isa 11:3-5, Rev 19:15) - it is theocratic with a new sacrificial system and priesthood (Isa 66:21-23, Ezek 40-48)
Satan will be bound and demonsinactive (Rev 20:1-3, 7)Rebellion at the close of this time(Rev. 20:7-9)Divine judgement follows -rebels, old heaven and earth alldestroyed by fireGrace in fulfilled new covenant,salvation, physical prosperity,revelation, forgiveness of sin,gathering of Israel
It includes a perfectgovernment, immediateglorious presence of Christ,knowledge of God by all, sataninactiveDispensations show God hastried every way to deal withman - who has continuallyfailed. Each dispensationreveals God’s glory. God hasgiven man every chance ofsalvation.
It includes a perfectChafer concludes,government, immediateglorious presence the“a knowledge of of Christ,knowledge of God by all, satandispensations is...the key toinactiveunderstanding God’spurpose in history and theDispensations show God hasunfolding way to deal withtried every of Scripture whichrecords God’s continuallyman - who hasdealings withman and his divinefailed. Each dispensationrevelation concerningreveals God’s glory. God hashimself.”given man every chance ofsalvation.