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The Dispensations The Covenants

Summary of dispensationalism
Taken from carm.org, by Matt Slick
Dispensationalism is an approach to biblical interpretation which states that God uses different means of working with people (Israel and the Church) during different periods of history, usually seven chronologically successive periods. However, dispensational division of history varies among its adherents from three periods, to four, seven, and eight dispensations. Seven is the most common.

1. Innocence (Genesis 1 -3) - Adam and Eve before they sinned 2. Conscience (Genesis 3-8) - First sin to the flood 3. Civil Government (Genesis 9-11) - After the flood, government 4. Promise (Genesis 12-Ex. 19) - Abraham to Moses, the Law is given 5. Law (Exodus 20 - Acts 2:4) - Moses to the cross 6. Grace (Acts 2:4 - Revelation 20:3) - Cross to the millennial kingdom 7. Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20:4-6) The rule of Christ on earth in the millennial kingdom

Though dispensationalists share common opinions about interpreting scripture, there are different types of dispensationalist positions. 1. Classical Dispensationalism God has different purposes at different times The Church is a parenthesis in history between the times of God dealing with Israel There will be a literal Kingdom in heaven and also a Kingdom on earth during the millennial period

2. Modified Dispensationalism Two peoples of God: Israel and the Church Different roles Salvation is the same for both groups Church and Israel exist together during the millennium

3. Progressive Dispensationalism Israel and the Church are both the people of God It relies more on covenantal interpretations Old Testament promises expanded to include the Church There are still distinctions between Israel and the Church Israel is still Gods chosen people with a plan from God Pre-trib rapture is generally held, but not necessary

Dispensationalists, as a whole, seek to interpret the scripture as literally as possible. The positions hold that salvation has always been by faith, but it is manifested differently between Old and New Testaments (Gen. 15:6;Hab. 2:4; Rom. 4:1-5; John 3:16). It accepts Gods covenants as vital parts of dispensational activity, but the primary unit of division is the dispensation (i.e., period of time). There are promises to Israel that are yet to be fulfilled.

Israel will be completely restored and be prominent in the world as it carries out Gods promises. The Church may replace Israel to some extent, but not fully. The Church did not exist in O.T. times. Premillennial held by all dispensationalists. Pretribulation rapture held by almost all dispensationalists.

Dispensationalism Summary
Literal interpretation of the Bible God works via different arrangements in distinct periods of history Israel is the literal descendants of Abraham, not spiritual ones Israel is the heir to the promises made to Abraham about the seed being blessed Participation in the Abrahamic Covenant is mainly by physical birth in Jewish lineage

Two distinct people groups: Israel and the Church Church began at Pentecost Salvation is by faith in accordance to the revelation given in a particular dispensation The Holy Spirit did not indwell people in all dispensations, only during the dispensation of the Church age Christ will reign in the future 1000 year period which occurs after the rapture

Two distinct people groups: Las Lajas Israel and the Church

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in Columbia, The Holy Spirit did not indwell built inside people in all dispensations, only during the dispensation of the the canyon of Church age the in the future Guitara Christ will reign River 1000 year period which occurs
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Scriptural revelation falls into well defined periods or dispensations. Recognition of these is important in true interpretation of the Scriptures. A dispensation can be defined as a stage in the progressive revelation of God constituting a distinctive stewardship or rule of life. An age is not precisely the same as a dispensation in biblical terms but each age does have its dispensation. Ages are mentioned and distinguished in the Bible: Eph 2:7 - so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Jn 1:17 -For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Recognising dispensations sheds more light on the whole message of the Bible than any other method of study. Mans relation to God is not the same in each stage. Fallen man is brought into testing in each age - the result of which is a demonstration of the utter failure and sinfulness of man.

Chafer says, In the end, every mouth will have been stopped because every assumption of the human heart will be revealed as foolish and wicked by centuries of experience

At the start of each dispensation man is placed in a new position of privilege and responsibility and at the end the failure of man is seen resulting in Gods righteous judgements. Gods character remains the same in each dispensation but instructions and responsibilities are given for application in that limited time only.

Therefore, the Bible student must recognise a primary and secondary application in the WOG. Only portions applied directly to the given dispensation should be given a personal or primary application - and should be performed in detail.

Therefore, the Bible student must recognise a primary and secondary application in the WOG. Only portions applied directly to the given dispensation should be given a personal or primary application - and should be performed in detail.

Secondary applications should provide lessons but, it does not follow that the christian is appointed by God to conform to those governing principles which were the will of God for other dispensations [Chafer] The child of God under grace is not as Adam or Abraham, nor is he required to follow the life which will be required of men when the Millennial rule is in operation.

As there is great difference in dispensations and commands within them, it is important to recognise not only those parts of the Bible which directly apply to you now. Recognise what does, and does not, concern you now - such knowledge protects you from trying legalistically to fulfill what was necessary in other dispensations.

Poor Bible translation prevents some truth being properly revealed, e.g. aion means age or dispensation but is often (40x?) translated world - Chafer cites Matt 13:49 though both the NIV and ESV do translate it age. There are 7 major dispensations revealed each normally signaled by a new divine appointment and responsibilities with which it begins and divine judgement with which it ends.

1. Innocence, 2. Conscience, 3. Government, 4. Promise, 5. Law, 6. Grace, 7. Millennial kingdom

It is vital to understand principles for biblical interpretation of dispensations. 1. It requires normal, literal interpretation of the Bible. 2. Revelation is progressive given in stages 3. Later revelation to some extent supersedes earlier with a resulting change in rules of life from the earlier to the latter.

No one would kill a man for gathering sticks on the Sabbath now - Num 15:32-36 3 most important dispensations are: Law governing Israel in the time of Moses Dispensation of grace - this present age The millennial kingdom - the future age