DispensationsThe Study of God’s Oversight of History
Dispensations are the divine administrations of human affairs from Adam through the end of time. Though time is not a primary consideration, each divine administration, or Dispensation, relates to a definite period of human history. The vast majority of the Bible deals with three such Dispensations: the Dispensation of Israel from the call of Abraham to Christ (which itself may be divided into the age of the patriarchs or promise and the age of the law), the present Dispensation of the Church from Pentecost to the Rapture, and the future Dispensation of Christ’s 1000 year kingdom, theologically designated as the Millennium. There should be no blurring or confusion of Israel and the Church; God deals distinctly with each group (Genesis 12:1–3; John 1:17; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 10:32; Galatians 3:19; Ephesians 1:10; Revelation 20:1–7).
Dispensations are not different ways of forgiveness and eternal life, but different administrations of God as He superintends the way mankind lives on earth. Eternal salvation was, is, and always will be a free gift by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:9–10).