What are the Seven Dispensations in the Bible and why do we need to know them?
As we can read, the Bible speaks of different dispensations and according to Ephesians 3:1-2, we are currently under the Dispensation of Grace.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.”
So what is a dispensation?
For a simple definition:
The word “dispensation” came from the Greek word “oikonomia” (English: economy) which means administration or stewardship. Therefore, the word Dispensation in the Bible means “God’s way of administration to His people in a certain period of time.” In short, it is God’s economy.
God’s dispensations may be compared to the way a home is run. When there are only a husband and wife in the home, a certain way of administration is followed. But when there are already children, an entirely new sets of policies are introduced. As these children mature, the way the home is administered is different again. We see this same pattern in God’s dispensations with the human race (Gal. 4:1-5).
WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW GOD’S DISPENSATIONS?
2 Tim. 2:5 “And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
First, according to 2 Timothy 2:5, if you are competing in a competition, you need to abide in the rules in order to get the crown. If you don’t know the rules, the most probable outcome is you won’t win. You won’t get the crown. We know that we are in a race right now (2 Tim. 2:7, Heb. 12:1), and we run because we want to get the prize (1 Cor. 9:24). If we do not know the way how God administers to His people today (His rules), it is impossible for us to get the prize.
Second, knowing God’s dispensation is very important because we want to be able to rightly divide the Word of truth as we have read on 2 Timothy 2:15 and to understand what is required by God from us today that we may become a workman approved by the Lord. However, most of the ministers today do not recognize these different dispensations that is why they don’t know how to rightly divide the Word.
Today, believers are confused because most of the ministers are returning us back to the dispensation of the Law when in fact, we are now in the dispensation of Grace. These ministers do not know the distinctions between the Law and Grace dispensations, thus, they don’t know also how to rightly divide the Word of truth.
Example of people who do not distinguish the dispensations are the Seventh Day Adventist denomination who are placing the people under observance of sabbath and dietary laws of the Old Testament because they don’t differentiate the Law and Grace dispensations. Same thing with the Endtime Message groups and other denominations who impose tithing which is the law of the past dispensation and not of the current one.
However, contrary to this, when the dispensations are distinguished from each other, the Word is rightly divided and the scriptures that are seemingly contradicting with each other are reconciled and understood. If dispensations are understood, the role of law and grace are understood. God’s purpose and distinction between the physical Israel and the Spiritual Israel (Church) are understood. Also, our understanding of the end times and the ‘things to come‘ and our interpretation of the scriptures will be greatly polished.
Another example is that, under the dispensation of Law, certain foods were labelled as unclean and should not be eaten (Lev. 11). But under Grace, the Lord Jesus declared all foods to be clean (Mark 7:19, Acts 10:9-16) the same with Paul (1 Cor. 10:25-16, Rom. 14:20-23).
This is why it is very important to see that there are different dispensations. Distinguishing between the dispensation of Law and Grace is especially important. Otherwise, we can commit the error of taking portions of the Scripture that only applies to other ages and apply them to ourselves. While all Scriptures are profitable for us (2 Tim. 3:16), not all were written directly for us. Passages dealing with other ages are helpful for us, but their primary applications are for that age for which they were written.
We have already noted the dietary restrictions during the dispensation of Law (Lev. 11). While this prohibition is not binding for us today (Mark 7:18-19), the underlying spiritual principles behind this still remains — that we should all avoid moral and spiritual uncleanness.
Knowing the dispensations can also help us distinguish the false ministers especially the prosperity Gospel preachers. During the Law, God promised the physical Israel that if they obeyed His Laws, He would make them materially prosperous (Deu. 28:1-6). The emphasis then was on material blessings here on earth. But this is not true today in the Dispensation of Grace. God did not promise us that He will reward our obedience with financial and material prosperity. Instead, the blessings that we will have in this Dispensation of Grace are spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3). These are our treasures in heaven. And these eternal blessings are far better than the temporal material blessings in the Law period.
While there are differences among the dispensations, there is one thing that never changes, and that is, Salvation. Salvation has always been, is now, and will always be by Grace through faith which is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). We must not believe any teachings that people in the Dispensation of Law were saved by keeping the law. The law cannot save us; it can only condemn (Rom. 3:20). And it is clear that no one can be justified by the works of the law (Gal. 2:16). No one can be saved by their own works.
Another important thing to remember about dispensations is that, when we speak of the present dispensation as the Dispensation of Grace, we don’t infer that God wasn’t gracious in the past dispensations. We simply mean that God is now dealing with us under grace and not under any dispensations.
By these, we are now ready to tackle the seven dispensations of God in the Bible.
THE SEVEN DISPENSATIONS
Below are the seven dispensations that tell us how our Lord God deals with humanity. This is His economy, His way of administration to us. We will then tackle them one by one.
1. DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCE
Period Covered: From the creation of Man up to his fall.
The first is the Dispensation of Innocence. During this dispensation, our Lord God administered to Adam and Eve just like how our biological parents deals with us when we are still newborn infants and toddlers who are still innocent, not knowing right and wrong.
Our parents are the ones who are completely responsible for us. They are literally the authority in handling and raising us. All we are doing at this stage of our lives is sleep, eat and play knowing that our parents are there to protect us and to provide our needs.
This is also what happens to Adam and Eve in the dispensation of Innocence. Our Lord God is the One Who has the authority and responsibility in handling them in their innocence since they don’t know right and wrong (good and evil). The presence of our Lord is with them. He provided all their needs and all that Adam and Eve supposed to do is to be fruitful, multiply and to have dominion over the creations (Gen 1:28). Adam and Eve are in this state in the garden of Eden until Satan, through the Serpent, introduced to them the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Satan knows that in order to break the innocence of man and to end the Dispensation of Innocence where God is completely handling Adam and Eve, he needed Adam and Eve to know what are Good and Evil. In order to do this, he needs to introduced to them the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And Satan successfully carried out his evil plan through the Serpent. The innocence of Adam and Eve were broken. They now both know good and evil. They are no longer innocent. Thus, ending the Dispensation of Innocence. Among the seven dispensations, this first dispensation is the shortest one.
2. DISPENSATION OF CONSCIENCE
Period Covered: From the fall of Man to the flood
After the innocence of Adam and Eve were broken, the sole authority of God to handle Adam and Eve was broken too. Our Lord cannot solely possess them anymore because they now know both good and evil. They can now decide for themselves. Their presence with God were cut off (Gen. 3:8-11). And so man entered a second dispensation which is the Dispensation of Conscience.
Our Lord God knows that the innocence of man will not last. Eventually, Satan will successfully carry out his plan. And so, during His creation of man, our Lord put Conscience as a part of the spirit of man and for it to activate whenever man lost his innocence and is cut off from His presence. (For further study about the Conscience being part of our spirit, kindly read the article entitled “The Three Parts of Man according to the Bible”).
Yes, conscience is already part of Adam’s spirit during his creation and even during the Dispensation of Innocence. Only that, during his innocence, man’s conscience is “inactive” because during that time, man doesn’t know yet good and evil or right and wrong. Our Conscience is the one that condemns us whenever we are doing wrong or evil. Conscience cannot condemn us when we don’t know anything wrong or evil. That is why after knowing good and evil, man’s conscience was activated.
When we are still children, we don’t know yet whether what we are doing is right or wrong that’s why our conscience is not condemning us. It is still “inactive”. We are just doing anything we wanted to do not knowing right and wrong. This is also the reason why we cannot put infants or children to jail from doing wrong. Children doesn’t have a full grasp of what is right and wrong. That is why they are still in the full authority of their parents. Their parents are the ones responsible for them. But when we are already on the right age, after knowing good and evil, every time we have done something wrong, our conscience is condemning us.
The goal of Satan during the Dispensation of Innocence is to introduce to man the good and evil so that our Lord’s authority to man will be cut off (Gen. 3:8-9). But then our Lord did not let man to have nothing when they were cut off from Him. He had given man conscience as part of man’s spirit to prevent him from doing evil.
You might ask: What if Adam and Eve had not partaken the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil but instead, had partaken the Tree of Life?
If that’s what happened, then their conscience will not be activated and their innocence will continue. This means that they will be fully dependent on God. Our Lord God will continue to be in control of their lives which is very essential to them. Letting God to be fully in control of our lives will make us guided by God’s wisdom letting Him to write our story and His will be done upon us. Our lives fully dependent to God will always result to Life, continuous fellowship with Him and eventually for us to bear the fruit of the Spirit. This is actually what our Lord wants for Adam and Eve – for them to let Him take control.
But the opposite was what happened to us when we do not let our Lord take control of our lives just like what happened to Adam and Eve. Independence from God means man is in control. He is guided by his own strength and resources and not by God’s wisdom. And we know that man’s wisdom and decisions (also known as “Man’s foolishness” 1 Cor. 3:19) will always lead to death and disharmony. The reason why our world is in chaos today is because man is in control of his life. He has created various systems and religions thinking that they will make him good but they have only brought him chaos.
After partaking the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, what Adam and Eve had achieved was the overwhelming knowledge of self, the result of which is always the same – separation from God. As the knowledge of self brings separation from God, so is the knowledge of Him (Eph. 1:17) draw us closer to Him.
Notice also that as soon as Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened, they saw their nakedness and began to make themselves covering. Man has been doing this ever since. When man is expose, he tries in a vain attempt to cover his sinful lives by his own effort. The leaves of a fig tree here he used as coverings symbolizes man’s own effort to cover his sin. Example of these coverings are the Religions he had created. And just like the fig leaves, these coverings are easily ripped off, broken and torn apart… what a pitiful covering for sin!
But God provided man a covering of skins (Gen. 3:21) and cloth them to cover their sin and nakedness. This is to tell us that our own efforts to cover our sins (religions, systems, church programs, etc.) cannot cover us. It should be God’s effort. Unless our Lord God Himself will act upon us, none of our own efforts can save us.
After man’s conscience was activated, it condemns him whenever he tries to do wrong. His conscience had somehow prevented him from doing wrong. But this did not last long.
During the time of Noah, when the wickedness of men grows due to the serpent’s venom upon them and due to the growth in the population of Cain’s lineage (Serpent’s lineage, sons of men), these wickedness “choked” their conscience. In a world where doing evil became good and doing good became evil, man’s conscience alone cannot prevent him from doing wickedness.
The time of Noah had told us what will happen to us when are cut off from the dependency and authority of our Lord and are left with our conscience alone. When Satan made the society where doing good becomes evil and doing evil becomes good, man’s conscience cannot convict him anymore. Remember that our conscience can only convict us if we know that what we are doing is wrong. If you think that what you are doing is right because the whole society is doing it, then our conscience cannot function. Man’s wickedness will only grow. This is the reason why God had to send the flood upon the earth to stop man’s wickedness.
What happened to the time of Noah is also happening to us today. Our society is telling us that doing good is evil and doing evil is good. Gay marriage is now legalized. Even the Roman Catholic Pope is now in favor for same sex union. Because of too much wickedness in this world, these people can no longer recognized what is good and what is evil. If you have come to this point where evil for you is good, then your conscience cannot condemn you anymore.
But during that time of man’s wickedness, there was a man named Enoch who knows very much that the only way he can overcome this world is when he will let our Lord God take full control of His life. So he surrendered his life to God when he was 65 years old and become fully dependent on Him (Gen. 5:21-22). He walks with God (fully controlled and dependent to God) that’s why he was raptured (Gen. 5:24).
Yes, this is actually the aim of our Lord for us – for Him to possess us again just like during the first dispensation. We can only be raptured if we will let our Lord to have fully in control of our lives. But the wickedness of man today made him to continue to rebel against God. He would not let his Lord be fully in control of him. Just like Satan whose quality and attributes is to not let the Lord to have control of him, Man also wanted to have freedom (a false liberty). He wanted to be cut off from the source of Life and Light. That’s why he became darkness and death, the opposite of Light and Life.
REMEMBER THIS: Freedom will only be good if it will lead you to Life and Light, but if that freedom will lead you to darkness and death, then that’s not freedom at all. That’s your destruction. True liberty can only be found in the presence of God (2 Cor. 3:17). Thankfully, just like Enoch, there is the Bride of Christ today who also walk with God. They are the people who choose to surrender their lives to God even if our society today told us that evil is now good. They are the people whose absolute is the Word and not the society. Just like Enoch, they are also the people who will be raptured.
3. DISPENSATION OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT
Period Covered: From the Flood to the confusion of tongues at Babel
After the flood, Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives began to repopulate the Earth. These eight people have witnessed what mankind will become if left with their conscience alone. They have seen that the Dispensation of Conscience have a weakness and that is, conscience alone cannot condemn humans from the evil things that they have been doing when the society itself is making evil to be good and good to be evil.
So God gave Noah and his family commandment in Genesis 9:5-6 that would become their fundamental standard:
“And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
It is through this commandment that the foundation of the laws of Human Government will be based upon. Our Lord also commanded them to scatter and replenish the Earth (Gen. 9:1,7). And since these people know how wicked humans can become if left with their own, they then created human governance with laws based on Genesis 9:5-6 with the aim to prevent human wickedness and the degradation of his morality.
Laws like “blood for blood,” “eye for an eye,” and “tooth for a tooth” were being implemented as standard and as capital punishment to meet justice. Some evidence of these laws during this dispensation was the Hammurabi Code of laws which was discovered by archeologists which contains these kinds of laws.
This Dispensation of Human Government had somehow prevented the degradation of human morality through its laws which have been implemented. But just like the Dispensation of Conscience, it did not last long. Satan had discovered the weakness of this dispensation. He then exploited it.
Human Government will only be effective if its implementer or its leaders are not corrupt and are not immoral people. But when the implementer (the kings themselves) where corrupt and wicked, his governance will also be corrupt. This is the reason why Satan influences its leaders. And the culmination of this is when Nimrod founded a well-known City and become a king (Gen. 10:8–12, 11:1-9). He is the most wicked king during this dispensation. Instead of doing the commandment of the Lord to scatter and replenish the Earth, he had done the opposite.
Nimrod’s goal was to build a tower in order “to make a name” for themselves so that he can prevent the scattering of people upon the face of the Earth (Gen. 11:4). Which is the exact opposite of the plan of our Lord. We all know also that a “name” means attribute or character that’s why “to make a name” here means that they wanted to make an attribute (or character) for themselves that humans alone can take care of themselves. That they don’t need God to help them. They wanted to prove that humanity alone is enough. They wanted to prove that they can be gods to themselves. They wanted to make this attribute upon themselves.
But then, this ambition of man was put into nothingness when our Lord God came down and take what He had originally given them that made them understand each other – their one language (Gen. 11:5-8). These made them confused and scattered around the planet. This event has only proven us that even though man would like to prove that he can make it without God and that he doesn’t need God, but when God will take what He had given him, man will not make it.
This Dispensation of Human Government had taught us what will happen if man was left with his own governance alone. There will be too much confusion and disharmony among us. Through this dispensation, God had given man full authority to handle his affairs, but then this had shown us that without God, we will be destroyed. This is the dispensation of complete degradation of man. Nimrod is actually a product of this. He is representing here the antichrist which will also lead humanity one day during the 2nd half of the Great Tribulation (Dan. 9:27, 7:25).
Today, human government is now very corrupt. Many believers are putting their trust to their political leaders, telling us that “this leader is elected by God.” Then they will put their trust on that leader and they will do everything to defend the man from his corrupted ways. They still put their hope in this corrupted human governance. These believers never learned that when a man entered into politics, he/she will only be corrupted. But this 3rd dispensation had proven us that human government is far from the perfect will of God.
4. PATRIARCHAL DISPENSATION
Period Covered: From the call of Abraham to Israel’s exodus from Egypt
After the fall of Human Government which is a dispensation that our Lord God had used to allow us to see what will happen to humans if left to govern themselves, the Patriarchal Dispensation or the Dispensation of the Patriarchs was then used by our Lord. This dispensation was also called the Dispensation of the Promised for it started from the promised of the Lord to Abraham. Then He continue this to Isaac, Jacob and the twelve sons (tribes) of Israel (Jacob).
It is called the Dispensation of the Patriarchs because in this dispensation, God deals to the patriarchs alone. He concentrates on them and executed His plan through them. There are already many people on earth that time but our Lord had chosen only the patriarchs to give His Word.
This is called the Dispensation of Promised because it started when God made a covenant (promise) to Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation and that his descendants would be as stars in the sky and as the sand in the seashore (Gen. 15:5; 22:17), and that the nations would be blessed through him (Gen. 12:1–3). Part of this promise is that Abraham would live in the “Promised Land” (Heb. 6:13–15; 11:8–12).
As what we have seen in the previous dispensations, the aim of our Lord is for His people (us) to completely submit to Him and to let Him take over our lives for without Him and aside from Him, we will be destroyed. And it is in this patriarchal dispensation that our Lord God started introducing and revealing Himself to man. He appeared to the patriarchs in “Theophany Body” (Spiritual Body). Therefore, we can liken this dispensation to the Quickening of the spirit of man where the Word is introduced to the spirit of man as the first stage of his redemption.
But just like the first three dispensations, the patriarchs also failed. Instead of having only a son through his wife Sarah to whom his seed would come, Abraham had a son to his slave Hagar and fathered Ishmael who became the ancestor of the Muslim people who are the Arab nations – the adversary of Israel. Once again, it is the man that had broken the covenant.
Isaac also failed. He favored Esau (the son of the wicked) more than Jacob who is chosen by God. And just like his predecessors, Jacob also failed and became a deceiver. He deceived his own father Isaac (Gen. 25:19-34). By this, Jacob’s sons also deceive him by telling him that his favorite son, Joseph, was killed by a wild beast (Gen. 37:23-36). The sons of Jacob also failed and it cause the Lord to take them out from the Promised Land to Egypt through a great famine. It was in Egypt that these patriarchs realized their failures.
Not long after these that the patriarchs’ descendant was enslaved in Egypt and Moses was raised up by God to deliver Israel back again to the Promised land.
As you can see, it is always the man who keeps on rebelling against God. Our Lord God always sought him so that he won’t suffer any longer for our Lord knows that it is only in His presence that man can have light, life, safety and peace. But man chooses to depart from His presence.
The rule of this dispensation is actually simple, man should only abide in God’s promise, it supposedly serves as their standard at that time. But then people failed again. The patriarchs keep breaking this covenant.
5. DISPENSATION OF LAW
Period Covered: From the giving of the Law in Mt. Sinai until the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He fulfilled the Law
While the Covenant given by our Lord to Abraham continues and has not yet been completely fulfilled even today (for the City which God had showed Abraham whose builder and maker is God Himself as written in Hebrews 11:10, is not yet fulfilled), God changed His ways of administration to his people by giving the Dispensation of Law. And this new dispensation, just like the previous dispensations, has also a beginning and an ending (Rom. 10:4).
Among all the five dispensations, the Dispensation of the Law is the easiest one to fulfill. Unlike the others, it has the simplest rule. The rule is this: Obey the Law and God will bless you (Deu. 28:1-6), disobey it and you will receive an equivalent punishment (Lev. 26:14-46). No other rule, just this one. Easy right? Or is it?
As you can see, the dispensation of Law solely depends on the works of man. Whether he will obey or disobey it. It’s up to him. The only problem is that, as we have seen in the previous dispensations, the works of man has only brought him disasters and be furthered away from the Lord. Meaning, nothing good has ever been a product of his own works. Why is this? Simple. As I have said above, there is only One source of Life and one source of Light. It is God. He alone is good (Matt. 19:17). This is why, it is only His work alone that is good. Let Him work in you and surely you will abide in this Life and Light.
But the works of man apart from the works of God in him will not bring him any good. All of his works are just filthy rags in the eyes of God (Isa. 64:6) for no good dwells in his flesh (Rom. 7:18). This is the reason why no matter what we will do, as long as it is not God Who works in us, our works are just filthy rags. See? We can only do good things when it is God Who works in us.
This is also the reason why when Adam and Eve failed, they tried to cover their failure with fig leaves (Gen. 3:7). The fig leaves here symbolizes man’s own work to cover his sin. But man’s own work is the wrong way and it will not cover him from his sins. So our Lord God Himself do the work for man and made him coats from the slayed animal skin (Gen. 3:21). Unless our Lord Himself will work in us, we can’t do anything good.
Since the Dispensation of the Law is based on the works of man, the Apostle Paul called this dispensation as the “ministration of death and condemnation” (2 Cor. 3:7-9). The Law brings death (Roman 7:10) and no one is justified by the Law (Gal. 3:11, Rom. 3:20). Why is this? Because no works of man can justify him. This is what this dispensation did! It declares man to be guilty of sin that’s why judgement and blood sacrifices were required during this dispensation. And this is why it brings death. By this, no man has ever perfectly performed the law. All have broken it. Not until the Messiah was born.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Messiah, was born during this dispensation to put upon Himself death and judgment for the perfect fulfillment of the law (Matt. 5:17). He is the consummation of the Law. The reason why He perfectly fulfill it is because He is God that was made flesh (John 1:14). Remember that it is the works of God alone that can do us good. And because there is Someone Who is God manifested in flesh, He perfectly fulfill the Law. We who were unable to fulfill it were saved. Just like what was written in Galatians 2:16:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, AND NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
So if you still think that you can be saved or be raptured by works, read the above verse again. If you still think that by giving tithes, or not eating blood, or keeping the sabbath, or by doing this or doing that will make you to the rapture, read the above verse again.
Israel misinterpreted the dispensation of Law and sought righteousness by their own good deeds and ceremonial ordinances (works). And because they have focused on attaining their own holiness through their works, they have not recognized the Messiah and they have rejected Him (John 1:11).
It is also important to note that the Law was ONLY given to Israel and not to the Gentiles (Exo. 19:3-8, Deu. 5:1-3; 4:8). During this dispensation, our Lord God deals only with the Israelites and not with the Gentiles. Our Lord Jesus Himself made it clear that the Law only given to Israel and not to the Gentiles (Mark 12:29-30). Paul also said that the Law was given to Israel and not to the Church (Rom. 2:14; 9:4-5; Eph. 2:11-12). This is the reason why in Revelation 3:9, our Lord hate those people who wanted to be like Jews but are not Jews (Rev. 3:9). These are the Gentiles who wants to keep the Law when the Law was only given to the Jews and not to them.
The dispensation of Law is already finished. The Apostle Paul have warned us not to return to it. The Church is not under the Law anymore to outwardly imposed it upon the believers today in an attempt to win favor and righteousness with God. This is what the Galatian church tried to do in Galatians 4:9-11 and note Paul’s concern and disappointment with them:
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
Also, Paul wrote to the Church in Colossae in Colossians 2:16-17:
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
So we are not under any legal obligation to imposed observance of tithings, sabbath days, holydays or of eating and drinking because they were shadow of the reality that is in Christ. That’s why those ministers who are imposing tithings, not eating of blood, and observance of Sabbath days upon the believers today will surely have to answer our Lord Jesus Christ one day. Come to think of this: our Lord Jesus died for us so that He can give us His Spirit to lead and guide us in everything that He wanted to do in us, but these ministers are returning us back to the Law making His death of no use. Surely, they will have to answer our Lord one day.
But the Apostle Paul have warned us not to return to these things. In fact, according to Galatians 3:2-3:
“This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, OR BY THE HEARING OF FAITH? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
According to the verse above, how did we receive the Spirit of God? Did we receive It by our works? Or by the HEARING OF FAITH? Are you one of the foolish believers who believe that they will be raptured if they will do this or do that? Are you one of the foolish people who started with the Spirit (baptized with the Spirit) but believe that they will finish (be raptured) through works (flesh)? We must ask ourselves these questions.
In summary, if there is one thing that we can learn from this dispensation, it is that through this dispensation, God had shown us that our own works alone cannot give us anything good. This actually is the very purpose why the dispensation of the law was given – so that God can show us how miserable we are when left by our works. Showing us this and making us realized how miserable we are by our works, is a very important requirement before we can enter the next dispensation – the Dispensation of Grace.
The Law was given for us to realized that we need Grace (Christ). It was given to lead us to Christ. And believe it or not, the Law was even given to increase our sins so that we would look away from ourselves as the answer and turn to the only One who ever could save – Our Lord Jesus. Just like what we can read in the following verses:
Rom. 5:20 “The law was given so that the trespass might INCREASE. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.“
Gal. 3: 23-25 “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.“
6. THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE
Period Covered: From Pentecost to the end of the Great Tribulation.
We are now in the Dispensation of Grace. This dispensation is also known as the Dispensation of the Church. Among all the seven dispensations, the Dispensation of Grace is the hardest to explain and the hardest to comprehend. It takes Grace to explain Grace. Any true minister of God who have tried to explain this topic will agree with me on this. I will now concentrate in this dispensation as it is our dispensation. I will also try to enumerate the attributes of Grace so that we can understand it more.
Anyone can easily grasp and comprehend the Law. The rule in that Dispensation is so simple. It tells you to “do this” and “don’t do that.” So simple. Obey the Law and you will be blessed. In fact, you don’t need to be a Christian in order to understand the Law just like many “law abiding citizen and religious people” today would often testify.
Even angels can easily grasp the Law. Angels are tried and tested servants of God who live by the commandments of God to them, that’s why it’s easy for them to understand the law. But Grace – grace is another matter. Even the angels can’t comprehend it. That’s why in first 1 Peter 1:10-12 we read:
“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
You see? Even the angels do not know Grace. In fact, according to the verses above, they are also looking forward to it. They are also looking forward to this dispensation and to see what Grace is. They are not the recipient of this dispensation, yet, they long for it and are looking forward to see it! So how much more are we, that are the recipients of this Grace! We have not only seen it but were also be able to experience it! And therefore, those ministers who are trying to turn us back to the law cannot deceive us. Can you see now how blessed are we to be born in this dispensation and not in other dispensations that we are able to see and experience Grace?
It takes far more than just our own natural mind to comprehend it. Because Grace, in order to comprehend it, one must experience it. And it takes the Spirit of God in us for us to understand Grace just like what we read in 1 Corinthians 2:12:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
OUR WORKS AND GOD’S WORKS
Before tackling Grace, I want to clarify these two things first: US AND GOD. The key to understanding Grace is to be able to separate our works (you and me) and the works of God in us. All seeds of God have two components: the Black Dog and the White Dog. The Black Dog is the serpent’s venom residing in our flesh. The Bible just called this The Flesh (Rom. 7:18-20). It is the part of us that is evil. I will call the Flesh as “you” or “us” just like what Apostle Paul did (Rom 7:18, Gal. 2:20). So every time I say “You/we must let God do the work for you/us” or “Your/our works has no place in Grace” or “It is not you/us who live but Christ live in you/us” or “You/we must die daily” in this article, I am only referring to the Flesh (the Black Dog).
On the other hand, we have also another part which is the Spirit of God (White Dog) in us. So every time I say in this article that we must let God/Christ do the work in us, I am referring to the part of us which is the Spirit of God. This is the key to understanding Grace. Failure to separate the Black Dog from the White Dog will also mean failure to understand Grace. This is the reason why there are many people who reason out:
“Fornication is not a sin. Adultery is not a sin. Christ already lives in me. My work is not my work but it is Christ’s works. I can no longer commit sin.”
This is the danger of failing to separate the works of the flesh (You/us) from the works of the Spirit of God. The One that cannot sin is the part of us that is God. But there is still a part of us that is sinful that greatly influences our soul to commit fornication, adultery, vices and give in to different kinds of sins. That is our flesh. Those sins that we do are the works of the flesh and not the works of the Spirit of God. When we do not die to our flesh daily and our soul always gives in to the leading of flesh instead of the leading of the Spirit of God, then we are sinning.
With this, we are now ready to tackle Grace.
So what is Grace? And why it is so amazing?
To begin with, Grace is the opposite of Law. If Law is based on man’s own works, Grace is solely based on God’s work. Man’s work has nothing to do with it. This is why GRACE MEANS, GETTING WHAT WE DON’T DESERVE. Why? Because of what has been given to us, we have done nothing in order to have it. We have no contribution to it whatsoever. Someone has done everything for us in order for us to have it. If in Law, one needs to do this in order to have that, in Grace, you only have to reap the blessings because our Lord has already done everything for us. That’s why Grace, is getting what you don’t deserve.
Man deserves death because of his disobedience and sins, but by Grace, we received Salvation. We deserve judgment because of our transgressions, but by Grace, we received heavenly rewards. We deserve to be cast in the lake of fire, but by Grace, we will be raptured. In all of these, we have contributed nothing. It was all done by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why the Dispensation of Grace is the Dispensation of the working of our Lord Jesus Christ in us.
The Law was given through Moses, but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). The Law was written on tablets of stones, while in Grace, the Law was fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 5:17) and that’s why it is written into our hearts (Jer. 31:33, 2 Cor. 3:3) through the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ in us that teaches us and led us to all truth (John 16:13). If the Law brings death, the Spirit brings life (John 6:63, 2 Cor. 3:6). If the Law is a ministry of death and condemnation (2 Cor. 3:7,9), the Spirit is the ministry of glory (2 Cor. 3:8-9).
In the Old Testament, Israelites are guided by the Law while in Grace, the Spiritual Israel is guided by the Spirit of Christ that dwells in our hearts.
In this dispensation, our Lord has only given us one rule:
“LET OUR LORD JESUS DO THE WORKING IN US, AND WE WILL BE RAPTURED.”
It should not be us that will do the work. It should be our Lord. The best analogy to explain this rule of Grace is like driving a car. The car is your life. You want to drive it. But in this dispensation of Grace, you must let the Lord drive for you. You should give the steering wheel to Him and surely, He will lead you to victory. This is the rule. Stick to this rule and surely, you will get the crown in this race. You will win the prize.
TO SUMMARIZED, Grace is the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ given to us. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Grace of God given to us (2 Tim. 1:9, John 1:14). As it is written in Titus 2:11-12:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
In order for this Grace of God to fully manifest in us, we must let this Grace (our Lord Jesus) work in us.
THE ATTRIBUTES OF GRACE
In order to better explain Grace, I will enumerate its attributes. But you must remember that one of the attributes Grace is: It is limitless. Therefore, these attributes I have identified here are not the totality of Grace. Because of its limitless nature and due to the lack of space, we cannot contain all its attributes in this one article. And due to my finite mind, I cannot identify all of them here. But I will do my best, according to the grace of God given upon me, to try to put all of its attributes here as revealed to me by our Lord. I advise you also that from time to time, try to visit and read this article as I will update these attributes whenever our Lord had given me another attribute that is not originally stated here.
6.1 IN GRACE, NONE OF OUR WORKS ARE REQUIRED
This is the very first attribute of Grace. During this dispensation, none of our works are required. For us to be saved, no work of us is required. For us to be Born Again, no works of us are required. For our souls to be transformed, no work of us is required. For us to be Raptured, no work of us is required. All of these are workings of our Lord. As long as we are in the dispensation of Grace, all the works should be of Christ alone. This is the reason why He had given us His Spirit – in order for Him to work in us and to lead us in everything He wanted to do through us.
This is the reason why Grace Dispensation is also known as the Dispensation of the works of our Lord in us. Our Lord has already done everything for us. We have done NOTHING to be worthy to receive Grace. And because we have done nothing to receive it, we have no contribution to it. In all of it, we have contributed nothing. It is all the workings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To explain this further, we will take the two books of Joshua and Judges as examples to begin with two very symbolic pictures in the death of two very symbolic characters. First, we can read that the events in the book of Joshua occurred after the death of Moses. Moses is forever associated with the law of God (John 1:17). This picture is showing us that entry into the Promised Land can only begin after his death. This tells us of the utter stupidity of legalism and trying to live and approach God through the “good works” of the flesh. Moses had to die, and so do we have to die to our own ability to live the Christian life if we are to proceed on in our journey with God.
So who could take them into the Promised Land and into their inheritance? It is no other than Joshua, whose name means “Yahweh is salvation” was the man who could lead them in. As Moses is a picture of the law, so Joshua is a picture of both Jesus Himself and His Grace.
6.2 ALL GLORIES AND HONOR BELONG TO OUR LORD ALONE
Since it is the Lord that works in us and because we have no contribution in order to deserve the things of Grace done to us by our Lord, all honor and glory should only belong to Him alone. None of us can boast that we deserve Grace because of our works or of our own strength. No sir! The Bible is very clear. As it is written in Philippians 2:13, all of it are the workings of our Lord alone:
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
Take for example also our Salvation. According to Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God not by works lest ay man should boast.”
Salvation is the work of our Lord Jesus Christ alone on the cross of Calvary. We have done nothing on it. If we can be saved by any works apart from the works of our Lord Jesus in the cross, then Christ’s death is in vain (Gal. 2:21). If you believe that you have attained your salvation because you have helped God attain it, then it is not Grace anymore. It is not a gift anymore because there is already an involvement of yourself. It can only be called Grace if you have no involvement in it. THIS IS THE FUNDAMENTAL OF GRACE. You need to know this first before going on to the other attributes.
6.3 FLESH HAS NO PLACE IN GRACE
This is why Grace is hated by the proud and natural man who solely depends on their works because in Grace, their works are useless. It is hated by legalistic ministers of today who imposed to the believers that they need to do this and do that in order to be raptured. In Grace, their works are completely worthless.
One example of this is Cain who offered an offering out of his own works and was wroth because God has no respect for his strength (Gen. 4:5). Cain was a farmer and he used his strength to toil the ground. Since during that time the ground was cursed by God due to the transgression of Adam (Gen 3:17), it is hard for any man to grow plants on it. This is why Cain must be thinking that time that God would accept his offerings since they are the products of his sweat, strength and own works. While Abel on the other hand, was a shepherd. Shepherding during that time requires minimal to no effort at all since the Earth is still covered with grasses and they are the only family living on Earth. Abel just have to let the sheep graze during that time.
But since in Grace our own works are completely worthless and the one recognized by God is His own works only, approaching Him by our own efforts, strength and works are completely mocking God. In Grace, there is no place for our works even how “wonderful” these works may seem (Matt. 7:22-23). It should be only the works of God alone. We must let our Lord do the working in us.
We the believers, however, are rejoicing for we have known that our Rapture does not depend on our works. For we know that in our flesh dwells no good thing. Once in our lives, we thought that if we were good, then God would reward us and if we are bad, we thought that we will not receive favor from our Lord. But the truth is, our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to look for goodness in us. He knows that we have none of it. He came in order for Him to become our goodness. So that we will have good in us.
The flesh has no place in grace. People who think that they are in Grace but give in to the call of the flesh, do not understand Grace. Remember that it should be the Spirit of the Lord that we should let to control us, not the flesh. If you are still giving in to the call of flesh (vices, fornication, adultery, sins), then the one leading you is not the Lord, it is your flesh. If you saw people who claimed that they are already in Grace but are still smoking, drinking and are fornicators, then those people are liars. They don’t know Grace. Do not believe them.
6.4 GRACE CANNOT BE EARNED
Since Grace is not of our works, we cannot earn it. No work of ours can make us have it. Since we did not work for it, we cannot demand it from our Lord. None of us can say to Him that we deserve it. This is why none of us also is deserving of Grace. Yes, you read it right, NONE OF US DESERVES OR IS WORTHY OF GRACE. You can only be worthy of something if you made an effort for that something. But since our works have nothing to do with Grace, we don’t deserve it.
So how can we have Grace? We can’t have Grace through works, instead, Grace is freely given to us by our Lord. It is a gift of God (1 Pet. 4:10). This will now lead us to the 5th attribute of Grace.
6.5 GRACE ONCE GIVEN, CANNOT BE WITHDRAWN
Since Grace is a gift given to us with nothing to do with our works, it cannot be withdrawn from us also. Imagine if this gift was given to us because of our works. Whenever we fail to carry out those works to God, we can expect that God will withdraw that Grace from us also just like in the Dispensation of Law. But praised God! This Grace was given to us with nothing to do with our works that’s why we are also sure that it cannot be taken from us! It is not dependent on our works! This is also the reason why our Salvation, Born Again experience, Transformation of our Soul and our Rapture which are all the Grace of God, cannot be withdrawn from us! Blessed be the name of the Lord!
6.6 NO SINS OF OURS CAN AFFECT GRACE
Since Grace is not based on our works or our actions, no sins of ours can ever affect Grace also. IT IS FULLY INDEPENDENT FROM OUR FUTURE OR PAST ACTIONS. This is the reason why the apostle Paul in Romans 8:38-39 is persuaded:
“…that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Because we have been justified, transformed and will be glorified by Grace, all of these are not affected by our future works (sins). That’s why we read in Romans 8:30:
“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
Again, I want this to sink in us: NO WORK OF OURS CAN EVER AFFECT ALL OF THOSE GRACIOUS ACTS THAT OUR LORD HAVE DONE FOR US BECAUSE THEY ARE THE WORKS OF OUR LORD, NOT OURS.
I want you to meditate on this for a while before going to the next attribute.
6.7 IN GRACE, OUR LORD JESUS IS OUR STANDING
In this dispensation, we are represented by Christ and not by ourselves. He is our standing! We are hidden in Him (Col. 3:3). And you know what it means to be represented by Christ right? It means, you will not fail! For Christ never failed! It means you will overcome, for Christ had also overcome. It means Christ is the One responsible for you. It means that if you are sick, because our Lord is the one controlling your life, it is also Him that gets the sickness and no sickness will prevail against Him unless He allows it, therefore, surely you will be healed. It means that if you have a problem, it is Christ that gets the problem and no problem will prevail against Him that’s why you will overcome them all. Our Lord Jesus Christ shielded us from all these things. Indeed, we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10). This is why Grace is the remedy for any kind of sickness. May it be physical or spiritual sickness. Just like what Rom. 8:31b told us:
“… If God is with us, who can be against us?”
It is like driving a car. If it is Christ that drives your car, and you are hidden in Him, it is the Driver that gets all the troubles along the way, not you. That’s why just sit in there and enjoy the journey that our Lord is leading us.
6.8 IN GRACE, ALL THE PERSECUTIONS GOES TO OUR LORD
When you are mocked because of the revelation He had given you, it is not you who is mocked, it is our Lord because He is the one driving your car. When we are persecuted because of His faith He had given us, it is not we who are persecuted, it is our Lord (Acts 9:4). If you are rejected because of the revelation He has given you, remember this: it is not you who is rejected, it is Him (Sam. 8:7). The same is true when we are praised because of the Spiritual Blessings He had given us, those praises should not be claimed by us. It should all be directed to Him. As it is written in Romans 4:4-5:
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
According to the verses above, those who work (using their own strength) to attain righteousness, will not be rewarded by Grace, but those works will be considered as DEBT (just like what happened to Cain who works his way to please God). How foolish it would be for someone to work his own righteousness when in Grace, all the works were already done by our Lord. Working your own will not be considered us the work of the Lord, it will be considered as debt. The very thing that you think will do you favor in the eyes of God, will in fact, will do you harm. This is the reason why in Matthew 7:22-23, many people will boast to our Lord about their own ‘wonderful” works one day. But our Lord will answer them:
“Depart from me ye doer of inequity, I never knew you.”
Working on our ourselves will do us harm during this dispensation. You have to sweat your way of working thinking that it will do you good, but in fact, what you will reap is only debt. But the opposite is true for those who work not for themselves (Rom. 4:5) and let Christ do the working for them. It will be counted as righteousness for them. They have not done any works at all, someone has done the works, but it was in them that righteousness was counted too. Brothers and sisters, behold, this is GRACE! Pretty amazing right?
If we will only realize these things and surrender ourselves completely to our Lord and let Him do the work in us, surely, nothing can prevail against us (Rom. 8:31)!
6.9 IN GRACE, YOU MUST NOT PUT YOUR TRUST IN THE FLESH
Since Grace is the working of the Spirit of Christ in us, one cannot comprehend Grace by the flesh. Therefore, during this dispensation, my advice is not to trust in ourselves. Trusting yourself during this dispensation is equivalent to failure. If you think that you can save yourself then that’s not Grace because you are relying on yourself. You should only fully rely on our Lord Jesus alone.
Do not put your trust in any flesh. Trust in our Lord alone. If you think that you will have a good life on this Earth because your parents are rich, then you are in a great danger. If Something will happen to your parents, you have no one to trust to. If you have sickness and you put your trust in your doctors that they can heal you, then you have been misled. Doctors can’t heal you. It is only the Lord. Put your trust in Him as He is the One responsible for you. If you think you will be saved because you have the best pastor or because your father is a minister of God, then you are trusting in the flesh. Put your trust in the Lord. He is the only One who can save you.
If you think you will be Raptured because you are trusting that you have bro. Branham, bro. Jackson or bro. Gan and many great ministers of the Lord in your circle, then you missed out the whole point of Grace my friend. Rallying behind these men of God will not give you the assurance of Rapture. Rallying behind our Lord Jesus Christ will.
6.10 IN GRACE, THE AMOUNT OF REVELATION WE WILL RECEIVE SOLELY DEPENDS ON OUR LORD
If you have given the control of your life to our Lord, then no one can blame you if you have only received this amount of Revelation because you will be judged in Christ. Christ will determine what amount of revelation you will have. And our Lord can never blame you on that because it is His doings. The only blame that will come unto you is if He had given you a revelation and you hid it and did nothing about it just like the wicked servant in Matthew 25:26-30.
This also means that the Body of Christ (us) will not receive uniform revelation. Some may receive more revelations than you or you may have received more revelations than the others. It all depends on our Lord. This is why it does not mean that because the Apostle Paul is an apostle of God and I am only an ordinary believer, the Apostle Paul is already special to God compared to me. It does not mean that because bro. Branham is a Messenger of God, and I’m only a common believer, he will already going to sit at a special table during the Marriage Supper of the Lamb along with other Messengers while I and other common believers are eating on a different table. That’s pure none sense!
In Grace, whether you are an apostle, messenger, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, king, slave or just a common believer who give your life to the Lord – all of us will sit on the same table together with Lord, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the great servants of our Lord (Matt. 8:11). Because revelation is our Lord’s doing, He will treat us equally. Praised be the name of our Lord! That day is much different compared today that during fellowships, the pastors and ministers have a different table from the common believers especially during eating time.
6.11 IN GRACE, NO MINISTER CAN BE PROUD OF HIMSELF
Even the ministers who have received great revelations like Paul, the Apostles, Bro. Branham, Martin Luther and many more that many are looking up to should not be proud of themselves, for in actuality, it is the Lord that works in them. They are also hidden behind our Lord. They have received those revelations because of the Lord’s doing and not of themselves. That’s why no one among us can be proud of ourselves. We can only be proud of what the Lord is doing in us. This is why Grace is hated by today’s Nicolaitan ministers who are lifting themselves among the believers and who are taking all the glory upon themselves instead of giving it to the Lord.
Grace is hated by Satan and all his demons who are influencing today’s Nicolaitan ministers. Because when we realized what truly Grace is, no spirit of Nicoliatism can prevail against us. All that pride will go away for Grace humbles the mighty. Humility is one of the products of Grace. Realizing that it is not us who are working will make us humble. That’s why those people who have known Grace are humble people. If a minister is prideful, then he doesn’t know Grace.
6.12 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONE WHO WAS JUDGED FOR US
Since it is the Lord that is working in us and He is the One driving our cars, the judgment that is supposedly for us will go to Him. And He was already judged at the cross in mount Calvary. All the judgment was put upon Him already. He had already paid it all. That’s why when we die, we can no longer be judged. Those who have given their lives to Him can receive no more judgments. No more judgment is waiting for us in the afterlife. What are waiting for us are only rewards! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
This is what it means to be written in the Book of Life. We know that the Book of Life is our Lord. If you have given your life to Him, that means that you are written by Him.
Your name is written in Him. Your name is in the Book of Life. Those that are in the Book of Life cannot receive judgment. Those who are not in the Book of Life are the people whose authors of their books (lives) are themselves and not our Lord.
6.13 GRACE IS SOVEREIGN
Grace solely depends on the giver and not the receiver. If you think there is something in you that made you worthy of that salvation, abandon that thinking. Grace solely depends on the giver, not the receiver. No debts to be paid nor condition to be met. Nor obligations to fulfill. All the works are done by the Giver. The Giver asks for nothing.
That is why during this dispensation, it is foolishness to talk about the law or doing this or doing that or imposing something upon the believers. Instead, this is the dispensation where we should talk about our Lord’s love, truth, grace and mercy. The center of this dispensation should be Christ for we are hidden in Him.
One example of this is at the mount transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8), when Moses and Elijah were seen with our Lord Jesus. Peter was obviously over-awed by the thought of being in the presence of the two greatest men in Jewish history and he indirectly placed our Lord Jesus in the same level as Moses and Elijah by offering to make tabernacles for the three of them. Then our Lord God answered him by speaking from Heaven declaring “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him!” And notice the next verse – “All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, EXCEPT JESUS ALONE.” That is the way it should be! We are so quick to look to other men of God or to other things. But in Grace, our focus should only be on our Lord. In Grace, our Lord Jesus is second to none.
6.14 GRACE HAS NO RESPECT TO ANY MAN
Since Grace is sovereign, no minister is recognized in Grace. Only the works of our Lord Jesus are recognized in this dispensation. That’s why if someone is pointing you to a minister instead of Christ, do not be deceived by them. They don’t know what Grace is. But if you are a kind of person who rallies behind a man, who are so fond with a man like the Lutherans, Branhamites, Jacksonites and the Ganites, then Grace will be of no interest to you. By this time, you will be tired reading this article. You cannot have Grace from men for Grace does not come from the flesh. It came from Christ alone. If you think you are indebted to a man you are following rather than to God, then you don’t know Grace.
6.15. GRACE IS LIMITLESS
As long as we are still in the dispensation of Grace, it is limitless. Grace is not limited only to the Gentiles. It is also the same as effective among the Jews and other races of people. That’s why if you believe that Grace is limited only for the Gentiles today, abandon that thinking. If it is limited to the Gentiles only, then it is not Grace.
If you believe that no Jews can be saved today because we are still in the Gentile Age, abandon that thinking. That belief is unbiblical. What Bible is saying is that Grace is both for the Jews and the Gentiles.
1 Cor. 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.“
That’s why Romans 1:16 tells us to preach this Gospel of Grace to both the Jews and the Gentiles:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
It is true that most of the Jews today are blinded by the Lord so that the Gentiles can be saved. BUT WE MUST TAKE NOTE THAT NOT ALL OF THEM WERE BLINDED. Only PART of them were blinded.
Rom. 11:25 “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.”
See? Grace is all for the Jews, not only for the Gentiles. Even to this day, there are Jews who were elected to be saved by Grace. We can read in this in Romans 11:5-7:
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”
6.16. GRACE IS ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR THOSE WHO REALIZED THAT THEY NEED IT
Since Grace is the remedy for everything (sickness, sins, unrighteousness, etc.), it is only effective for those who realized that they need it. Supposed you are so generous enough and is willing to forgive all that were indebted to you, it is clear that you can only forgive those who are willing to be forgiven by you and not those who didn’t realize that they owe you and those that are not willing to be forgiven by you. One example of this is if you told your debtor that you have forgiven him from the debts he owes you but he won’t accept it for the reason that he can pay you using his strength by finding a job and that he doesn’t need your forgiveness. No matter how willing you are to forgive this person, your grace will not be accepted.
Grace is only applicable to those who realized that they need it. The most generous person cannot forgive those who didn’t realize that they owe him anything and those that won’t accept his forgiveness. This is why it is only the sheep who are the recipients of Grace and not the goats. For even though our Lord wanted everyone to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), Grace is only applicable to those who realized that they need it. Among the sheep and the goats, only the sheep have SEED in them that is the receiver of Spirit of our Lord (Grace). Without this receiver, no matter how available Grace is for everyone, one cannot receive it. This is why for the goats, Grace is of nonvalue.
According to the revelation of God given to John Calvin, Grace is irresistible. This is indeed true! But only for the sheep. This is not true for the goats. The goats have no receptor of Grace.
Our Lord Jesus Christ in all of His Omnipotence, His generosity and His graciousness, CANNOT GIVE GRACE TO THOSE WHO DON’T NEED IT. Pardon is only for the guilty. Forgiveness is only for the sinful. Grace is only for the ungodly, unrighteous, sick, lost and sinners (Rom. 4:5). If you think you are not one of these, just like the Pharisees and the Sadducees during the time of our Lord, and just like many of the ministers today who are self-righteous and who think that they don’t sin anymore, then you don’t need our Lord Jesus Christ. For our Lord said:
“… For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mat. 9:13b)
6.17. GRACE WILL COME TO US WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT
Since Grace is sovereign, its workings are not dependent on us. Take for example our Salvation. Christ died for us, whether we like it or not. He died for the sheep and not for the goats (John 10:11). He died for the sheep whether the sheep will accept Him or not. Our Salvation is not dependent on our acceptance to our Lord. Remember that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). A sinner cannot accept Christ. Why do sinners cannot accept Christ? This was further elaborated by Ephesians 2:1:
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
While we were still dead – a dead person cannot do anything. It cannot even move, let alone accept our Lord Jesus. The verse told us that it is the Lord that quickens us because we are dead. It is not us that allowed Christ to quicken us, instead, it is Christ’s own doings. That’s why a person cannot accept Christ, it should be Christ that accepts the person. SO WHETHER WE ACCEPT THE BLOOD OF CHRIST OR NOT, He already died for us. We have been bought by His precious blood that’s why we are saved. We have been justified by His blood.
SHEEP WERE SAVED WHETHER THEY LIKE IT OR NOT. WE HAVE BEEN SAVED WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT.
WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, CHRIST HAD QUICKENED US WHILE WE WERE DEAD. It is not you that allow Christ to change you. You have no ability to do that since you were dead. It is all the doings of our Lord. And because “the gifts and calling of God is without repentance” (Rom.11:29), this Grace cannot be taken away from us.
6.18. THOSE THAT CAN MOST APPRECIATE GRACE ARE THE UNGODLIEST OF THE UNGODLY
“God justifies the ungodly” (Rom 4:5)
If for example two people owed me money, one owed me 10 dollars and the other owed me 1 million dollars and I tell those people “I forgive you all for what you have owed me. Consider all of your debts paid. You don’t owe me anything anymore.” Who do you think of the two will appreciate my grace more? Who do you think will love me more? Well, it is very obvious. The one who will appreciate and love me more is of course the one who owed me 1 million dollars who is probably thinking that he was greatly saved from that debt because he may can’t pay it even working all his life.
Now between the two, who had received Grace more abundantly? Of course, it is the one that owed me the greatest. The ungodliest of the ungodly are the ones who possess the biggest grace-container that needs to be filled. This is why the power of Grace will rest more to those who are the ungodliest of the ungodly. They are the ones with whom Grace is so powerful with. This is the reason why it was the Apostle Paul who was chosen by our Lord to be the first Messenger to preach Grace among the Gentiles. For the best person to use in order to preach Grace is the person who received much of it.
Among the Apostles of God, it was the Apostle Paul who truly knows the Law for he is a master of Law. We all know that before Paul got converted, he was Saul, a master of law and a notorious murderer. And not just an ordinary murderer but A CHRISTIAN MURDERER. Many followers of our Lord have fallen upon his feet including Stephen (Acts 7:58). He was authorized to kill Christians by the chief priests (Acts 9:14). He was being greatly feared by every Christian believer that time that even Ananias, the one commissioned by our Lord to baptize Paul, was hesitant to go and meet him (Acts 9:10-16).
These are the reasons why Paul considers himself as the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15-16) or the ungodliest among the ungodly. That is why, among all the apostles, he is the one who had received the greatest amount of Grace from our Lord. He is therefore the best person to teach it. Paul serves as our outstanding pattern, our example, that even the chiefest of sinners could possess eternal life! That even the most unlikely person could also be saved. That even the most notorious murderer can become an Apostle of the Lord! Indeed, what amazing grace! Praise be the name of the Lord!
If there is someone who knows what grace really is, it is no other than the chief of sinners himself, the apostle Paul. This is also the reason why in most of his letters, he always opened and closed them by mentioning grace.
The apostle Paul is our pattern that God’s amazing grace can save the worst of sinners. Do you know someone whom you thought “Naaa, this one’s really going to hell!” Think of the Apostle Paul then. If our Lord can save him who is the chief of sinners, how much more us? If you are that someone who is still hesitant to return to our Lord because of sins, this is the right time to return to Him now. A Grace without limit is reserved for you by our Lord. If there is someone who can best appreciate and preach what Grace is, it will be you. Not me.
What an amazing God we have indeed! What an amazing grace! Who could have thought that a just ruler would die for the unjust rebels? GOD JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY. He is not ashamed of doing it and neither do I of preaching it!
6.19. GRACE CAN ONLY FLOW THROUGH GRACE
Here in Makati Church, we are so much blessed by all kinds of spiritual blessings because we have no man-made programs here. Grace can only flow through Grace. In a Church where man-made programs are followed, where man is in control, where the believers are not free, then Grace cannot flow. Revelations cannot flow. The abundance of revelations can only be given to a Church where Grace can flow. It is a Church not controlled by man, or organizations or any man-made programs but the sole authority is the Spirit of God alone.
If you want to attend a Church, make sure that the Church you are attending is free and not in a cage. Remember that the fundamental of Grace is that the Spirit of God is free to work among the believers. If the Church you are attending now is under the control of man, leave that Church. You will not grow there. Our Lord cannot work in you.
The same is true when our Lord will use you someday to minister to His people. Aim to be free like an Eagle. Do not let yourself be controlled by any man or any organization. Remember that we are only given rare opportunities to serve our Lord on this Earth. Serve Him freely. Serve Him with courage.
Likewise, NEVER ATTEMPT TO CONTROL THE BELIEVERS that Lord had entrusted you. Remember that you don’t own them. Those sheep are the Lord’s.
6.20. IN GRACE, ALL THAT IS DONE IN CHRIST WERE ALSO ALREADY DONE IN US
Because our Lord Jesus Christ is our standing (Eph. 2:6), all that is done in our Lord Jesus were also already done in us (Eph. 1:3, 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12). Because He is sitting now in His throne of glory, we are also seated in Him already. Because He is our Head and we are His Body, all that is experienced by Him will also be experienced by us. Because our Lord Jesus is Holy, we are also Holy. Every blessing that we receive is directly associated with what He did. And since He did give everything, all things will also be given to Him. Since He is the One Who did everything for us, all glory will also be given to Him.
Praised be the Name of the Lord!
6.21. FROM GRACE COMES PEACE
Those who have known Grace, have known peace. Peace is the fruit of Grace. Knowing that our Lord is the One that works in us and the one taking control of our lives, will give us lasting peace of mind. You don’t need to worry about tomorrow for the God that made the heavens and the Earth is with you.
Grace leads to Peace. You won’t experience true peace if you haven’t experienced God’s grace. This why the apostle Paul always open and close his letters with the phrase “May the Grace and the Peace of the Lord be unto you all.” If you want to live a true peaceful life then you must live in Grace.
A Peaceful life is a Graceful life.
Indeed, it takes Grace to explain Grace. We cannot give what we did not receive. And I thank the Lord for His Grace for me. Although I am not worthy of all of these, but just like what we can read in this article: This is all about Him, not about us.
Grace has taught us many things as it is vast and limitless. But most importantly it teaches us about our Lord Jesus Christ. That He is the Grace of God given for us. And that all of these revolve around Him. He is God’s gift to this world. He is the One Who leads and guides those who trust Him the steering wheel of their cars (lives). By this, we are now ready to tackle the last dispensation.
7. DISPENSATION OF THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
Period Covered: From the return of our Jesus Christ to Earth when He will sit in His Throne of Glory up to the final rebellion before the White Throne Judgement
We have seen in the past six dispensations that the goal of our Lord is for us to fully submit our lives to Him. This was the original condition of man in the Garden of Eden. He was fully dependent on God in the dispensation of Innocence. But it was broken with man’s transgression. After that, through the different dispensations, God is trying to regain control of our lives because outside of Him are only destruction and death awaits us.
But man’s condition from Innocence to the dispensation of Human Government is worsening. It was then during the call of Abraham (Patriarchal Dispensation) up to now (Grace Period), that God started to regain control again in the lives of men. It is in this Grace Dispensation that God has given His Spirit to men for this very purpose – to lead men and to regain the control again to His original creations.
As we can see, these seven dispensations can be divided into two parts. The first part is from the Dispensation of Innocence up to the Human Government. We will call this as the best to worst part. This is the period that the human condition is degrading from best to worst because of not letting our Lord to be in control of their lives. The second part is the worst to best part. This is the part where man’s condition is improving which started from the call of Abraham up to the ultimate Dispensation which is the Millennial Kingdom Dispensation or the Millennial Reign.
As I have mentioned above, our Lord God’s intention from the beginning is for us to remain in His presence. To be engulfed with His glory, for it is in Him alone that we can find life and security. We have seen in the previous dispensations that man’s control over his life leads him to his destruction and death. This is why the very purpose of our Lord giving us the Millennial Kingdom dispensation is to bind us back again to Him so that He can be in control of His creations again. For whether we like it or not, during the Millennial Kingdom dispensation, the whole world will be controlled by our Lord Jesus Christ and will be engulfed with His glory (Isa. 11:9).
This dispensation is actually the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:10 coming to pass:
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in heaven.”
The will of the Lord will engulf this Earth during this dispensation. There will be no place for sins, unrighteousness and transgressions during this dispensation for the Lord will rule with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:27, 12:5, 19:15, Psa. 2:9) which means sins will have no place during this dispensation. Peace will finally be realized (Isa. 11:6-7) in this dispensation. Accompanying peace are justice (Isa. 11:3–4), abundance (Isa. 35:1–2), healing (Isa. 35:5–6), righteousness (Isa. 35:8) and joy (Isa. 55:12). This kind of life is only possible when our Lord Jesus Christ is fully in control of everything (Isa 16:5).
On the other hand, during this dispensation, Satan and his demons together with his false prophets, will be cast in the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 9:1-2) for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3).
Our Lord Jesus Christ will then rule the world, and employ the Bride (His Wife) to sit in with Him the thrones and together, they will rule the Earth (Rev. 20:4). But we must remember that these members of the Bride that will rule during the Millennial Kingdom are those people who have let our Lord take control of their lives during the Dispensation of Grace. They are the ones who died in their flesh daily and have given their lives to be led by the Spirit of our Lord right now. They are not controlled by any man or any man-made programs or organization on Earth right now. This is the reason why they qualified to rule with Christ in His Kingdom. They will judge the nations together with Christ (Rev. 20:4). And the requirement to be a righteous judge is to be one with the only righteous Judge. So if you have not let the Spirit of our Lord Jesus control you during the Dispensation of Grace, expect that you will not be qualified to sit on the throne and judge with Him.
It is only the Sheep (Bride, Foolish Virgins, Faithful Jews, Just) who will be able to enter this last dispensation (Rev. 20:4). All these Sheep (seed of God) will going to experience the Millennial Kingdom for they are the inheritor of this dispensation (Rev. 20:4, Matt. 25:46, 34). The Bride will sit in the thrones and reigned with Christ (Rev. 20:4) while the Foolish Virgins and the Faithful Jews shall be the priests of God and of Christ (Rev. 20:6) and the Just (Sheep that are not the Bride nor the Foolish Virgins) will be the subjects (inheritor) of the Kingdom (Matt. 25:34). There are two kinds of Just people that will enter the Millennial Kingdom: the resurrected ones who were killed by refusing the mark of the beast (Rev. 20:4) and the natural people (having physical bodies) who were able to escape the killings of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. Those Just with natural physical bodies are the ones who will going to repopulate the Earth during the Millennial Kingdom.
All of these Sheep will be resurrected in the First Resurrection which will happen before the Millennial Kingdom so that they can experience it. All that will be resurrected in the First Resurrection are sure to have Eternal Life for this resurrection is also called as the Resurrection of Life (John 5:29) and death has no power in them (Rev. 20:6). None of them will going to perish during the Millennial Kingdom for all of them are inheritors of Eternal Life (Matt. 25:46).
The Goats (seeds of the Serpent, Tares) on the other hand, will be resurrected during the Second Resurrection at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. This resurrection is also called the Resurrection of Damnation (John 5:29) for death has power on it (Rev. 20:6). These Goats are the people whose souls were imprisoned in Hell after their physical deaths on Earth (Luke 16:22-23, Rev. 20:13). Contrary to the First Resurrection, all the souls that will be resurrected during the Second Resurrection will be damned and will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).
As you can see, the Millennial Kingdom is in-between the First and the Second Resurrection. This is to ensure that all the Sheep whose souls goes in Paradise after their physical deaths on Earth will be able to experience the Millennial Kingdom by resurrecting them all before the start of this dispensation. This is because they are the inheritors of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is for them (Matt. 25:34, Rev. 20:4-6).
However, because the Just people with natural bodies are the ones who will repopulate the Earth during the Millennial Kingdom, there will be born among them who are Goats since their natural bodies still possessed the genes of the serpent in them. When Satan will be loose from the Bottomless Pit, he will deceive those Goats born during the Millennial Kingdom and they will declare war against God and His saints (Rev. 20:7-8). And God will send fire to them and devour them (Rev. 20:9). This will be the culmination of the Millennial Kingdom. All the Goats will be annihilated and those that will remain are all Sheep. This Kingdom will end by the casting of the Goats into the lake of fire (Rev 20:12-15).
The Millennial Kingdom will be the last dispensation. After this, we will enter Eternity of which where it all started. The Earth will then be restored to its original condition.
As you can see, the whole purpose of God in giving us these dispensations is for us to be fully restored to Him and to be fully possessed by Him. There are rules in every dispensation that should be followed by man to be fully restored to Him. There are also few people in every dispensation who have realized this and have stick to the rules that made them victorious in their race. These people are the Bride of our Lord. They have let our Lord to fully control their lives that’s why they have succeeded.
First of these people is Enoch, who have let God lead him and he walked with Him daily until God raptured him (Gen. 5:24). Second is Noah who followed the instructions of God. The third is Abraham who fully surrendered his life to God and go wherever God wanted to lead him. Not to mention Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, John, Paul and many more who have offered their lives as a living sacrifice to God and completely follow His leading. They have known that God wanted them to surrender their lives to Him and they willingly give it to Him. The world is not worthy of them.
Today, many people are busy with those things that are going on in their lives that they have forgotten our Lord. Billions of people are on this planet but only few are willing to be controlled by our Lord. Some are spending their lives on working for their family, some on making wealth and some on many other things, but just like Abraham, are we willing to surrender our lives to our Lord Who has given us these lives? Are we willing to be controlled by Him? My friend, letting our Lord control our lives Who is the creator of Heaven and Earth and Who knows everything will be the wisest decision you can ever make.
BUT THE REASON WHY I AM WRITING ARTICLES LIKE THIS IS BECAUSE IT IS ACTUALLY MY DREAM TO SEE THAT DAY. That there will be people who will be willing to fully entrust their lives to our Lord. The first condition of Man. The condition that has long been gone. I may not see that day while I’m alive. But I know, there will be people somewhere in the future who will read this and they will going to have a very great story here on Earth. They will learn to fully entrust their lives to our Lord and they will be the ones who will see our Lord’s return while they are still alive. They are the Living Bride of Christ. It is to them that the first condition of Man will be restored. Oh what a day that would be!
May we be willing to offer our lives to our Lord as a living sacrifice is my prayer.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?