Bible Life Ministries teaches salvation by grace through faith but does not support the John Calvin teachings of total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace or perseverance.


Click the image to view an enlargement by Clarence Larkin.
The Clarence Larkin charts are not under copy protection.

The Seven Dispensations

Understanding the seven dispensations is necessary to rightly divide the Word of God, meaning to correctly understand the Bible. Everything written in the Bible is written for us, but everything written is not necessarily written to us. Commandments, promises, blessings and warnings given to Israel in the Dispensation of Law do not apply to the Christian Church today in this Dispensation of Grace. We are not under the law but under grace. Instructions given to Adam and Eve do not apply to us today. The dietary restrictions given by God to Israel do not apply to us today. We must follow the teachings of the Apostle Paul as they apply to Church in this Dispensation of Grace.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin [leading] to death, or of obedience [leading] to righteousness?

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. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also [trusted], after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 

Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.  

The resurrection not only gave Jesus Christ life but gives us eternal life for all who believe. The resurrection gives the believer the power to live a victorious Christian life filled with the Holy Spirit. We are saved by His life.

Warning: 

Dr. C. I. Scofield's description of the seven dispensations are fairly accurate, but the seventh dispensation should have been divided into three titled:

Tribulation
Millennium Reign
New Heaven and New Earth.

Dr. Scofield believed some of the false doctrines of Calvinism. Therefore, the study notes in the Scofield Bible should not be accepted. Calvinism is a false gospel that blasphemes God because it renders Jesus'  death as unnecessary. See the following web page for more information about the false doctrines of John Calvin.

Calvinism
False Doctrines of the "Pope" of Geneva

The Seven Dispensations

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
by Dr. C. I. Scofield

The Scriptures divide time (by which is meant the entire period from the creation of Adam to the "new heaven and a new earth" of Rev. 21: 1) into seven unequal periods, usually called dispensations (Eph. 3:2), although these periods are also called ages (Eph. 2:7) and days, as in "day of the Lord."

These periods are marked off in Scripture by some change in God's method of dealing with mankind, or a portion of mankind, in respect of the two questions: of sin, and of man's responsibility. Each of the dispensations may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment, marking his utter failure in every dispensation. Five of these dispensations, or periods of time, have been fulfilled; we are living in the sixth, probably toward its close, and have before us the seventh, and last: the millennium.



1. Man innocent.

"This dispensation extends from the creation of Adam in Genesis 2:7 to the expulsion from Eden. Adam, created innocent and ignorant of good and evil, was placed in the garden of Eden with his wife, Eve, and put under responsibility to abstain from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The dispensation of innocence resulted in the first failure of man, and in its far-reaching effects, the most disastrous. It closed in judgment: "So he drove out the man." See Gen. 1:26; Gen. 2:16,17; Gen. 3:6; Gen. 3:22-24.)"

Salvation Gospel in this dispensation:

Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "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."

2. Man under conscience.

"By the fall, Adam and Eve acquired and transmitted to the race the knowledge of good and evil. This gave conscience a basis for right moral judgment, and hence the race came under this measure of responsibility -- to do good and eschew evil. The result of the dispensation of conscience, from Eden to the flood (while there was no institution of government and of law), was that "all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth," that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," and God closed the second testing of the natural man with judgment: the flood. See Gen. 3:7, 22; Gen. 6:5,11-12; Gen. 7:11-12, 23.)"

Salvation Gospel in this dispensation:

Do good and do not do evil, or love what is good and hate what is evil.

Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.

3. Man in authority over the earth.

"Out of the fearful judgment of the flood God saved eight persons, to whom, after the waters were assuaged, He gave the purified earth with ample power to govern it. This, Noah and his descendants were responsible to do. The dispensation of human government resulted, upon the plain of Shinar, in the impious attempt to become independent of God and closed in judgment: the confusion of tongues. (See Gen. 9: 1, 2; Gen. 11: 1-4; Gen. 11:5-8.)"

Salvation Gospel in this dispensation:

Believe God and build an ark.

Genesis 6:16 "You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it [with] lower, second, and third [decks]. 17 "And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which [is] the breath of life; everything that [is] on the earth shall die. 18 "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark--you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

4. Man under promise.

"Out of the dispersed descendants of the builders of Babel, God called one man, Abram, with whom He enters into covenant. Some of the promises to Abram and his descendants were purely gracious and unconditional. These either have been or will yet be literally fulfilled. Other promises were conditional upon the faithfulness and obedience of the Israelites. Every one of these conditions was violated, and the dispensation of promise resulted in the failure of Israel and closed in the judgment of bondage in Egypt."

"The book of Genesis, which opens with the sublime words, "In the beginning God created," closes with, "In a coffin in Egypt." (See Gen. 12:1-3; Gen. 13:14-17; Gen. 15:5; Gen. 26:3; Gen. 28:12-13; Exod. 1: 13-14.)"

Salvation Gospel in this dispensation:

Believe God's promise.

Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you.

5. Man under law.

"Again the grace of God came to the help of helpless man and redeemed the chosen people out of the hand of the oppressor. In the wilderness of Sinai He proposed to them the covenant of law. Instead of humbly pleading for a continued relation of grace, they presumptuously answered: "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." The history of Israel in the wilderness and in the land is one long record of flagrant, persistent violation of the law, and at last, after multiplied warnings, God closed the testing of man by law in judgment: first Israel, and then Judah, were driven out of the land into a dispersion which still continues. A feeble remnant returned under Ezra and Nehemiah, of which, in due time, Christ came: "Born of a woman-made under the law." Both Jews and Gentiles conspired to crucify Him. (See Exod. 19:1-8; 2 Kings 17:1-18; 2 Kings 25: 1 -11; Acts 2:22-23; Acts 7:5152; Rom. 3:19-20; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3: 10.)"

Salvation Gospel in this dispensation:

Obey God and keep His commandments.

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth [is] Mine.

6. Man under grace.

"The sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ introduced the dispensation of pure grace, which means undeserved favor, or God giving righteousness, instead of God requiring righteousness, as under law. Salvation, perfect and eternal, is now freely offered to Jew and Gentile upon the acknowledgment of sin, or repentance, with faith in Christ."

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24). "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish" (John 10:27-28). "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).

The predicted result of this testing of man under grace is judgment upon an unbelieving world and an apostate church. (See Luke 17:26-30; Luke 18:8; 2 Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 3:15-16.)

The first event in the closing of this dispensation will be the descent of the Lord from heaven, when sleeping saints will be raised and, together with believers then living, caught up "to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:16-17). Then follows the brief period called "the great tribulation." (See Jer. 30:5-7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15-18; Matt. 24:21-22.)

After this the personal return of the Lord to the earth in power and great glory occurs, and the judgments which introduce the seventh, and last dispensation. (See Matt. 25:31-46 and Matt. 24:29- 30.)"

Comment:

Some teachers number the Tribulation as one of the dispensations, while combining the dispensations of Promise & Law. However, we see the Tribulation as a special period during which human civilization crumbles under the weight of the combined features of its ages long rejection of God.

Salvation Gospel in this dispensation:

Confess Jesus as Lord and believe in His resurrection.

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

7. Man under the personal reign of Christ.

Dr. Scofield's theology is incorrect in the crossed-out verses below. The correct theology is as follows:

After God's judgments on all the people of the earth, Christ will return to the earth with the Saints, and He will reign over all the earth for one thousand years. This is the period commonly called the millennium. The seat of His power will be Jerusalem, and the saints, including the saved of the dispensation of grace, namely the church, will be associated with Him in His glory. (See Isa. 2:1-4; Isa. 11; Acts 15:14-17; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 20:1-6.

"After the purifying judgments which attend the personal return of Christ to the earth, He will reign over restored Israel and over the earth for one thousand years. This is the period commonly called the millennium. The seat of His power will be Jerusalem, and the saints, including the saved of the dispensation of grace, namely the church, will be associated with Him in His glory. (See Isa. 2:1-4; Isa. 11; Acts 15:14-17; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 20:1-6."

"But when Satan is "loosed a little season," he finds the natural heart as prone to evil as ever, and easily gathers the nations to battle against the Lord and His saints, and this last dispensation closes, like all the others, in judgment. The great white throne is set, the wicked dead are raised and finally judged, and then come the "new heaven and a new earth." Eternity is begun. (See Rev. 20:3,7-15; Rev. 21 and 22.)"

Major Christian Doctrines in the Bible, Dispensation of Grace, 
Gospel, Church, Body of Christ, Rapture, and Bride of Christ.

God sees your heart and hears your prayer. You will have eternal life with God when by faith you believe on Jesus Christ for salvation. No works! No doing! No one else! No judge! God judges the heart. You can trust Him.

Click here to say, "Yes, I want to pray to God."

Click here to say, "I just prayed to confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."

If you need help in understanding, select "A Bible Summary" and study it carefully.

You may contact the author by clicking the mailbox above.

Join me on Facebook and ADD me as your friend.

To support this website just place 1 or 2 dollars in an envelope and send it to:

Kent R. Rieske
5086 Cottonwood Drive
Boulder, CO 80301
USA

Copyright © 1998 - 2014 by Kent R. Rieske and Bible Life Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

Permission is granted to copy this information in whole and without revision providing that full credit is given to the author. This information may not be copied in part and the information may not be included in any material that is offered for sale. You are encouraged to place a link to this article on your website page.

Click below for Bible studies, references, books and other links.

NewCalvinismNew
False Doctrines of the "Pope" of Geneva

NewWhat Love Is This?New
Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God by Dave Hunt

The Great Bible Mystery

Bible Life Ministries - Links Page

The best book for the study of dispensations is:
Gods' Plan for Man
by Finis Jennings Dake, 1990 ISBN-10: 1558290265

Highly recommended book for studying many different theologies is:
The Moody Handbook of Theology
by Paul Enns, ISBN: 0-8024-3428-2

New

Brainwashing, Mind Control, Indoctrination, Oppression, Coercion, Intimidation, Legalism, False Teaching, and Bondage in the Modern Christian Church

New


Bible Life Ministries

NewProphecy Today for the Body of ChristNew

The Great Bible Mystery

God's Election & Man's Free Will

Are the Sins of All Mankind Forgiven?

History of the New Testament Scriptures