Dispensations of Grace and Kingdom

 3. Man’s Responsibility.

Man’s responsibility in the Dispensation of Grace is obedience to the New Covenant. Obedience to the New Covenant means to accept the gifts of righteousness which God offers to all men through Jesus the Messiah. The point of Romans 5:15-18 is that man is responsible to accept the gift of righteousness God offers to all men through the Messiah of Israel.

4. Man’s Specific Test.

Man’s Specific Test
The specific test of this dispensation is simply this: Will man accept the gift? Will humanity, as a whole, accept God’s offer of the free gift of salvation by the simple act of faith in the person of Jesus the Messiah? On the basis of faith, this free gift is given.

5. Man’s Failure.

As with all previous dispensations, the present one will also end in failure, and this can be seen in two ways. First, most men will reject the gift. The majority of humanity will not come to a saving knowledge of Jesus the Messiah in our own day, any more than it was true before our time, and certainly will not be true even in the future.

The second way failure is going to be seen is that the very organism that has a knowledge of the truth, the Church, will become apostate, and will even turn away from that truth. It is already a shame that men in general reject the truth, but when the Church itself rejects the truth by which it was called, that is sadder still.

6. Man’s Judgment.

Man’s Judgment
This age, the Age of Grace, will also end with the facet of judgment: the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will fall upon the whole world in general, because humanity in general has failed to accept the free gift of salvation offered through Jesus the Messiah. Also, the unbelieving visible church will go into the Tribulation and suffer the wrath of God. But the believing, invisible Church, the true believers in the Church, will be taken out of this earth before the Tribulation ever starts. Concerning the question as to whether the Church will go through the Tribulation, the answer is “yes” and “no.” The invisible Church, the Church that truly believes, will be taken out before the Tribulation. But in the visible, apostate church there are unbelievers, who will indeed go through the Great Tribulation.

7. God’s Grace.

It is in this area that we also see the facet of grace. Grace will be seen through the Rapture of the Church in that the invisible Church, the true Body of the Messiah, composed of all true believers, will be raptured out of this earth. Even for those who have died, their bodies will be resurrected, so that even their bodies will not be on this earth during the seven years of the Great Tribulation. The Rapture will be a unique display of grace in the Dispensation of Grace.

KINGDOM

The Allegory of Faith by Johannes Vermeer cir. 1632-1675
The Allegory of Faith by Johannes Vermeer cir. 1632-1675

 

 1. The seventh and last dispensation also has two names.

It is called the Dispensation of the Kingdom or the Dispensation of the Millennium. The first name emphasizes the Messiah’s rule over this particular planet. The second name emphasizes how long this rule will last: 1,000 years.

This dispensation covers the period of Revelation 20:1-10. Although it is only ten verses long, it covers a span of time of 1,000 years.

2. The Chief Person will be Jesus.

The Messiah, because the Messiah Himself will be dispensing direct, new revelation (Isaiah 2:2-4). Upon this new revelation, the new dispensation will be based. 9baccb4ecf19e58b2bfca471c95fcbfb

3. Man’s Responsibility.

The responsibility for the seventh dispensation will have two facets. The first facet will be the same as that of the sixth dispensation: responsibility to the New Covenant. Obedience to the New Covenant means to accept the gift of righteousness that God offers to all men through faith in Yeshua the Messiah.

There will be a second facet: obedience to the King and the new laws He will issue during this period. In the Dispensation of the Kingdom, there will be something “old” and something “new.” The old is the responsibility to respond to the demands of the New Covenant, which means to exercise faith in Jesus the Messiah and His substitutionary Death, Burial, and Resurrection. The new responsibility is obedience to the King who will then be visible here on earth, and obedience to the laws He will issue.

4. Man’s Specific Test.

The test during that dispensation will be for each one born in the Kingdom to personally accept the King as his personal Lord, not in place of the gospel, but with the gospel. To accept the gospel means that one believes that Yeshua died for his sins, was buried, and rose again. Added to this will be the aspect of owning the King as one’s Lord.

5. Man’s Failure.

There will also be the facet of failure in that future dispensation. Men will fail to accept the Messiah, and at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be able to deceive humanity once again. Mankind will come together for one last revolt against God’s authority by attempting to invade Israel and invade the Holy City itself.

6. Man’s Judgment

The judgment in this dispensation will be the destruction of all these invading armies by fire out of Heaven.

 7. God’s Grace.

Grace will also be displayed during this particular dispensation in three major ways. First, during the Kingdom there will be the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies. Every prophecy that has remained unfulfilled until this time will find its fulfillment during the Messianic Kingdom.

The second way grace will be displayed is that it will be a period of prosperity for all mankind, so every man will be able to sit under his own vine, under his own fig tree.

A third way grace will be displayed is that there will be immortality for the saved; believers in the Kingdom will not die; only unbelievers in the Kingdom will die (Is. 65:20).

This is the seventh dispensation, and when this dispensation ends, history will move from the aspect of time to the aspect of eternity as it enters into the Eternal State (Rev. 21:1-22:5).

Prophetic Art by James Nesbit
Prophetic Art by James Nesbit

These comments on the dispensations came directly from my class notes of my first seminary course at Tyndale Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was taught by Dr.’s Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Mal Couch. Both took turns giving the class room lectures in early 2003. I still retain the session recordings of these great  classes from those two great teachers. Many of these comments in this series on the dispensations are directly as they spoke them in class. I have been blessed. Daniel E. Woodhead

Share on Facebook