THE DIFFERENT AGES AND DISPENSATIONS OF GOD’S DEALING’S WITH MEN.
J E Bradburn
1) God has spoken at “sundry times” as well as “in diverse manners” Hebrews 1:1 (KJV) God, who at sundry times and in divers(e) manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
The time when He spoke to “the fathers” is distinguished from the time in which He has “spoken to us”. The time in which “He spake by the prophets” stands in contrast with the time in which “He spake by the prophets” stands in contrast with the time in which He spake by (His) “Son”. And the “time past” is obviously distinguished from “”these last days”.
Hebrews 1:2 (KJV) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;
The Father spake; and His Son Elohim (With the aid of the Angels) Created the “Fallen world of Adam” as well as Adam & Eve. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm
Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
And the “time past” is obviously distinguished from “these last days” (Heb 1:2 above). “To rightly Divide the Word of TRUTH”
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
It is essential to regard the times in which the words were spoken, as well as to the times which they refer. Three Greek words in the New Testament call for careful consideration. These are:
1) chronos, time, duration unlimited unless defined; it occurs fifty three times and is translated “time” in thirty two;
2) kairos, a certain limited and definite portion of chronos, the right time or season; it occurs eighty seven times, and is translated (rendered) “time” in sixty five passages, “season” in fifteen;
3) oikonomia, meaning literary, administration of a household (English, economy, including the idea of stewardship); occurs eight times, and translated “dispensation” four, “stewardship” three “edifying” once (1 Timothy 1:4), which the R.V. rightly corrects to “dispensation”, making five occurrences in all that English term. 1 Timothy 1:4 (KJV) Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than Godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
A dispensation, administration, or arrangement, during a portion of chronos may, or may not, be equal to kairos, according as the context determines.
Nothing but confusion can arise from reading into one dispensation that which relates to another. To connect what God said and did in one dispensation with another, in which His administration was on an altogether different principle, is to ensure error. And finally, to take doctrine of late revelation and read and read it into the time when it was “hidden” leads to disaster.
The nations (http://godsplan.org.uk/fulltentribes.htm Judah and Benjamin), Israel the Chosen Nation, and the church https://levendwater.org/companion/append186.html are each dealt with in “distinct” times and on distinct principles, and the doctrine relating to each must be kept distinct. When our LORD speaks:
Luke 21:24 KJV And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
of “the times (kairos) of the Gentiles”, the implication is that there are times of the Jews (under Messiah, Isaiah 33:6), whatever be the contrasted elements.
Isaiah 33:6 (KJV) And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.
So that what is recorded as connected with the time of the Jews is not necessarily applicable to the times of the Gentiles. The present administration of God is in grace, not in law, judgement, or glory, and belongs to the “dispensation”
(oikonomia)of the Mystery https://levendwater.org/companion/append193.html, that secret “which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints”.
Colossians 1:26 (KJV) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints:
That secret in other ages “which was not made known unto the sons of men.”
Ephesians 3:5 (KJV) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Hid in God from the beginning of the world; Ephesians 3:9 (KJV) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
It was kept a secret since the world (Flesh age) began.
Romans 16:25 (KJV) Now to Him that is of power (http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thesufferingsandglory.htm) to stablish you according to My gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, http://www.godsplan.org.uk/revelation_%20revealed.htm It is evident to all that God has made known His will "at sundry times and in divers manners" (Heb. 1:1, 2). He also kept certain things secret, and revealed them from time to time according to His purposes and counsels. Hence the word musterion is connected with several concealed or secret things in the New Testament.
There is no authority for taking enactments Divinely fitted for the times of the Jews and transferring them to the present dispensation of God in Grace. Similarly, the endeavour to read the precepts (a commandment or direction given as a rule of action or conduct) of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt 5:7), which are the laws of the kingdom of heaven https://levendwater.org/companion/append114.html, into such church epistles as Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, not only obscures the TRUTH, but antagonises one part of Scripture with another.
THE SEVEN TIMES OR DISPENSATIONS
In the Bible seven distinct administrations are set before us. Each has its own beginning and ending; each is characterised by certain distinctive principles of God’s dealings; each ends in a crisis or judgement peculiar to itself, except number 7, which is without end.
These may be tabulated thus:
2. The period “without law” (the times of ignorance Acts 17:30). End—The Flood, and the judgement on Babel. http://godsplan.org.uk/noah.htm
3. The era under Law. End—The rejection of Israel. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm
4. The period of grace. End—The “Day of the LORD”. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/revelation_%20revealed.htm
5. The epoch of judgement. End—The destruction of Antichrist. http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm
6. The millennial age. End—The destruction of Satan, and the judgement of the great white throne. http://godsplan.org.uk/messianicage.htm
Acts 17:30 (KJV) And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES
While the seven dispensations above specified are the main divisions of the long period of the Divine dealings, there is still another dispensation referred to as “the times of the Gentiles”
Luke 21:24 (KJV) And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
This is a dispensation which overlaps two of the above divisions. These times began when Jerusalem passed under the power of Babylon in (477 B.C. https://levendwater.org/companion/append50.html p 60, https://levendwater.org/companion/append180.html), and continue while “Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles” These “times” are referred to in” (Rom 11:25), which has no reference to the completion of “the church”, as is so generally believed, (IMPORTANT) but relates to the fullness, or filling up, of the times of the Gentiles, the word “Gentiles” being put for the times which they fill up.
Romans 11:25 (KJV) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
THE PARENTTHESIS OF THE PRESENT DISPENSATION
In the Nazareth Synagogue (Luke 4:16-20) our LORD stood up and read from the book of the prophet Isaiah .After reading the first verse, and part of the second (of Chapter 61), He closed the book. Why stop there? It was because the next sentence belonged, and still belongs, to a future dispensation. The acceptable “year of the LORD” had come, but “the day of vengeance of our God” has not yet appeared. Thus did the LORD divided two dispensations There is no mark in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 61:2 to indicate any break, and yet an interval of nearly 2000 years separates the two clauses quoted. In this interval comes the whole of the present church dispensation, following on the years after Israel’s final rejection (Acts 28:25-28). https://levendwater.org/companion/append180.html https://levendwater.org/companion/append181.html
Luke 4:16—20 (KJV)
16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.
Isaiah 61:2 (KJV) 1st Dispensation To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and 2nd Dispensation the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; Thus did the LORD divided two dispensations.
Acts 28:25-28 (KJV)
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,”
26 Saying, “Go unto this people, and say, ‘Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:’”
27 “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them”.
28 “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Index.htm
TO THE HIGH AND MIGHTY PRINCE
BY THE GRACE OF GOD,
KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND IRELAND,
DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, &C
The translators of the Bible wish Grace, Mercy, and Peace, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD.
Here is just one paragraph of that letter…
…And now at last, by the mercy of God, and the continuance of our labours, it being brought into such a conclusion, as that we have great hopes that the Church of England shall reap good fruit thereby; we hold it our duty to offer it (the KJV) to your Majesty, not only to our King and Sovereign, but as to the principal mover and author of the work: (James from the age of 7 mastered the full understanding of God’s Word) humbly craving of Your most sacred Majesty, that since things of this quality have ever (always) been subject to the censures of illmeaning and discontented persons, it may receive approbation (a favourable opinion) and patronage from so learned and judicious a Prince as your highness is, whose allowance and acceptance of our labours shall more honour and encourage us, that all the calumniations (to accuse somebody falsely, or slander somebody) and hard interpretations of other men shall dismay us. So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced (to say very critical or disparaging things about somebody) by Popish Persons at home or abroad, (Catholics) who therefore will malign us (to criticize somebody or something in a spiteful and false or misleading way) because we are poor instruments to make God’s holy Truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness; or if, on the other side we shall be maligned by self-conceited Brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing, but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil; we may rest secure. Supported within by the truth and innocency of a good conscience, having walked the ways of simplicity and integrity, as before the Lord; and sustained without by the powerful protection of Your Majesty’s grace and favour, which will ever give countenance to honest and Christian endeavours against bitter censures (official expression of disapproval or condemnation) and uncharitable imputations.( accusations)
To the honour of that great GOD, and the good of His church,
Through JESUS CHRIST our LORD and only Saviour
Signed by the translator(s)
There you have it even up to 400 years ago Christians, and believers on God’s Word; where having problems with the Papal system of the Catholic Church, and it is another reason why the translators of the day sought protection from King James, and yet another reason why the KJV was deemed politically incorrect, and removed from between the covers of earlier KJVs of which I have a copy. They still do not want you to understand, and keep you in ignorance and darkness. The Great Apostasy http://www.godsplan.org.uk/companionbible.htm
The above corruption has many profound connotations (A connotation is a commonly understood cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the words or phrases explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation). Far too many to go into here; however, very careful thought should be brought to bear on this one subject. The deception of all Catholics by this corruption, and many Protestants by only one change of a small but significant, and subtle letter. Satan; by using Pope Pius 1X; has deceived many. That is why it is necessary to search for the TRUTH YOURSELF, and the way to the TRUTH is in Jehovah’s Word in the Heavens, where it is untouched, unaltered, subtlety changed, or misrepresented. We all have a responsibility to God, ourselves, and our families to learn these TRUTHS.
The Great Apostasy = The dilution of Abraham, Moses, Jacob’s and Jesus' message into a pagan 'one world religion' foretold both by Jesus Himself and St Paul, http://www.godsplan.org.uk/paganism.htm
Ephesians 3:11 (KJV) According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
A THE PRIMAL CREATION. HEAVENS AND EARTH. “The world (Greek kosmos) that then was” (Begins Genesis 1: 1. 2- read 2 Peter 3: 6.)
B SATAN’S FIRST REBELLION. The earth became waste and a ruin (Heb tohū vā bohū). Gen 1. 2-. God created it neither a ruin (Isa 45:18, Heb tohū) nor waste (confusion”).
C THE EARTH RESTORED AND BLESSED. “The heavens and earth which are now.” Gen 1 -2—2. 3. 2 Peter 3:7.
D SATAN ENTERS AND THE CONSEQUENCES. Gen 3. http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm
E MANKIND DEALT WITH AS A WHOLE. Gen 4—11:28. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm
F THE CHOSEN NATION CALLED AND BLESSED. Genesis 11: 27—Malachi 4: 6. (Jehovah and His kingdom rejected. Israel scattered.) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm
G THE FIRST ADVENT (Micah 5:2. Zechariah 9:9). THE FOUR GOSPELS (Rom 15:8). The King and the kingdom proclaimed and rejected, and the King crucified http://www.godsplan.org.uk/nativityofjesus.htm
H THE KINGDOM RE-PROCLAIMED. Acts 3:19—20 &c. The Church of God called and taken out, Acts 13 forward and earlier Pauline Epistles. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/stpaul.htm The kingdom again rejected and Israel again scattered.
H THE KINGDOM POSTPONED AND IN ABEYANCE. “Not yet” (Heb 2:8) The later or Prison Epistles (Pauline) The MYSTERY revealed and proclaimed. Eph 3:2—11. Col 1:25; 2:2—3. 1 Tim 3:16. THE NEW HOPE Phil 3: 11, 14. Titus 2:13. “The church which is His body” called, and taken up. Phil 3:11, 14. Hebrews 2:8 (KJV) Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him.
G THE SECOND ADVENT “The first resurrection.” The kingdom established. The King enthroned. “The Day of the LORD.” Matt 24: 25, 31. Luke 19: 11—27. Isaiah 2:11—19. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
F THE CHOSEN NATION RECALLED AND BLESSED. Romans 11:11—36. Acts 15:16. Isaiah 60, 61, 62. Jeremiah 30:31. Acts 15:16 (KJV) After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
E MANKIND DEALT WITH AS A WHOLE. Joel 3:2. Matthew 25:31—46. Romans 15:8—12. Revelation 4:19. Joel 3:2 (KJV) I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land.
D SATAN BOUND AND THE CONSEQUENCES. Revelation 20:1—3. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/revelation_%20revealed.htm#revelation10_1
C THE EARTH RESTORED AND BLESSED. Revelation 4:6. Isaiah 35.
B SATAN’S FINAL REBELLION. Revelation 20: 7—10. Followed by the second resurrection and the judgement of the “great white throne.” The destruction of “all things that offend”. Rev 20:11—15. http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm
A THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH. The day of God. Revelation 21, 22. 2 Peter 3:12, 13. Isaiah 65:17. 66:22. http://godsplan.org.uk/futurekingdom.htm
1) The above Structure indicates the respective dispensations in which God has been; and is dealing with, the Jew, the Gentile, and the church of God. 1 Corinthians 10:32 (KJV) Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: The “church which is His body “occupies the central position, and its present standing is seen to be separated from its future destiny and hope. The two rebellions of Satan are also seen to be in direct correspondence; suggesting the necessity why he must be loosed, and the loosing for a little season.
Revelation 20:3 (KJV) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Revelation 20:7 (KJV) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
2) All things were created by Him “Who is before all things and by Whom all things consist” (literally hang together) Colossians 1:17 (KJV) And He is before all things, and by him all things consist. Who is now “upholding ala things by the words of His power”. Hebrews 1:3 (KJV) Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on [at] the right hand of the Majesty on high: The Structure indicates in in almost pictorial form the great lesson that God sets before us from Genesis to Revelation, viz. that no created being can stand (upright) apart from Christ the Creator. Hence the necessity for a “new heaven and a new earth” wherein abideth righteousness, inhabited by “a new creation” of beings who have by grace been made “partakers of the Divine nature”.
2 Peter 1:4 (KJV) “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”
3) Further, it will be seen that it is not God’s purpose to bring in the New Heaven and New Earth by means of the “church”. The new creation will be full of physical marvels, brought about by physical means and not “spiritual agencies”. These means and their results are set before us in Revelation. Well may we exclaim with Paul:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God: how unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto Him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to WHOM BE GLORY FOREVER. AMEN.”