THE 7 DISPENSATIONS IN THE BIBLE
These different dispensations are not separate ways of salvation. During each of them man is reconciled to God in only one way, (i.e. by God's grace through the work of Christ that was accomplished on the cross and vindicated in His resurrection). Before the cross, man was saved on the basis of Christ's atoning sacrifice to come, through believing the revelation thus far given. Since the cross, man has been saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom revelation and redemption have been consummated. On man's part, the continuing requirement is obedience to the revelation of God. This obedience is referred to as stewardship of faith.
Although the divine revelation unfolds progressively, the deposit of truth in earlier time-periods is not discarded, rather it is cumulative. Thus conscience (moral responsibility) is an abiding truth in human life (Romans. 2:15; 9:1), although it does not continue as a dispensation. Similarly, the saved of this present dispensation are "not under law" as a specific test of obedience to divine revelation (Galatians. 5:18; 2:16; 3:11), yet the law remains an integral part of Dispensational teaching.
The Law clarifies that, although Christ fulfilled the law for us, by it we have had the knowledge of sin(Romans 7:7), and it is an integral part of the Holy Scriptures, which, to the redeemed, are profitable for "training in righteousness" (2 Titus. 3:16–17; Romans. 15:4). The purpose of each dispensation, then, is to place man under a specific rule of conduct, but such stewardship is not a condition of salvation. In every past dispensation unregenerate man has failed, much like he is failing in the present dispensation, and will fail in the future until Eternity arrives. Salvation has been and will continue to be available to everyone by God's grace through faith. (The New Scofield Study Bible, 1984, pg. 3–4).
DISPENSATION 1The first dispensation is called the Dispensation of Innocence (Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:15-17). This dispensation covered the period of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In this dispensation God's commands were to (1) replenish the earth with children, (2) subdue the earth, (3) have dominion over the animals, (4) care for the garden, and (5) abstain from eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God warned of the punishment of physical and spiritual death for disobedience. This dispensation was short-lived and was brought to an end by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit and their expulsion from the garden.
A proof of the Dispensation of Innocence is this: God did not introduce the serpent to Adam! Everyone and everything was innocent. - Oluwatobiloba Oshunbiyi
DISPENSATION 2The second dispensation is called the Dispensation of Conscience, and it lasted about 1,656 years from the time of Adam and Eve’s eviction from the garden until the flood (Genesis 3:8–8:22). This dispensation demonstrates what mankind will do if left to his own will and conscience, which have been tainted by the inherited sin nature. The five major aspects of this dispensation are 1) a curse on the serpent, 2) a change in womanhood and childbearing, 3) a curse on nature, 4) the imposing of difficult work on mankind to produce food, and 5) the promise of Christ as the seed who will bruise the serpent's head (Satan).
DISPENSATION 3The third dispensation is the Dispensation of Human Government, which began in Genesis 8. God had destroyed life on earth with a flood, saving just one family to restart the human race. God made the following promises and commands to Noah and his family:
1. God will not curse the earth again.
2. Noah and family are to replenish the earth with people.
3. They shall have dominion over the animal creation.
4. They are allowed to eat meat.
5. The law of capital punishment is established.
6. There never will be another worldwide flood.
7. The sign of God's promise will be the rainbow.
Take note: It was the dispensation of the government of the likes of Nimrod Cush.[
the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah. (1 Chronicles 1:10, Micah 5:6)]
DISPENSATION 4Noah’s descendants did not scatter and fill the earth as God had commanded, thus failing in their responsibility in this dispensation. About 325 years after the flood, the earth’s inhabitants began building a tower, a great monument to their solidarity and pride (Genesis 11:7-9). God brought the construction to a halt, creating different languages and enforcing His command to fill the earth. The result was the rise of different nations and cultures. From that point on, human governments have been a reality.
The fourth dispensation, called the Dispensation of Promise, started with the call of Abraham, continued through the lives of the patriarchs, and ended with the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, a period of about 430 years. During this dispensation God developed a great nation that He had chosen as His people (Genesis 12:1–Exodus 19:25).
The basic promise during the Dispensation of Promise was the Abrahamic Covenant. Here are some of the key points of that unconditional covenant:
1. From Abraham would come a great nation that God would bless with natural and spiritual prosperity.
2. God would make Abraham’s name great.
3. God would bless those that blessed Abraham’s descendants and curse those that cursed them.
4. In Abraham all the families of the earth will be blessed. This is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and His work of salvation.
5. The sign of the covenant is circumcision.
6. This covenant, which was repeated to Isaac and Jacob, is confined to the Hebrew people and the 12 tribes of Israel.