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Randy-WhiteA lack of dispensational understanding of Scripture has caused so much misunderstanding and misapplication of the Word of God.

So many sermons and books that come out today may sound good, yet they are not truly Biblical. Our goal at Dispensational Publishing House is to understand and propagate Biblical theology. And, as we are seeing, true Biblical theology is dispensational theology.

By way of review, a new dispensation begins when there is a fundamentally new revelation given by God which changes mankind’s relationship and responsibility to God and to the rest of mankind. As we read through Scripture, we must see the times when such events take place and make note of them. Neither a richer understanding of the text nor a fulfillment of prophecy, by itself, constitutes the beginning of a dispensation.

A failure to recognize the fundamental change marking a new dispensation is the most common error in Biblical interpretation—leading to painful and drastic consequences in Christian thought and practice. It is very common for preachers who misunderstand this foundational truth to give evidence of this mistake in well-meaning but misguided sermons.

With this background in mind, we are now ready to embark on a journey through the Biblical dispensations.

The Dispensation of Innocence
We call the first dispensation a period of innocence because there was no sin as of yet. The only two people who lived in this dispensation were Adam and Eve, who were in the Garden of EdenParadise—and they were innocent.

This dispensation begins in Genesis 1:1 with the first act of creation, which is described in a fundamentally new revelation. This first major revelation in the Bible is that of the created order. Man could not know about this act apart from God’s revelation, since no man was even upon the earth for the first five days of creation.

Before God created “the heaven and the earth,” only the Triune God existed. With the creation of these heavens and earth—the physical world—however, God created time, space and matter.

As finite human beings, we cannot fathom a world without time (which requires space, which contains matter). But God in His omniscience has complete knowledge of what this situation was like.

We need to realize that there is no gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 during which some cataclysmic event took place. God did not destroy the world that was created in verse 1 through some type of universal judgment. This idea involves reading something into Scripture for the purpose of attempting to find a place where we can insert billions of years into the text to make it correlate with the teaching of evolution. This doctrine, called the gap theory, has been promoted by some great Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield, but it must be abandoned as we study the details of the text.

Genesis Is Foundational to a Biblical Worldview
A Biblical worldview requires that our ultimate reality is God. He predates space, time and matter.

The ultimate reality is not matter, as materialists believe. This would include the teaching that matter is eternal and produced everything else—possibly through the process of evolution.

We are neither materialists, nor humanists, but theists. We believe that God is the ultimate reality. In eternity past, there was God and nothing else. This is known to us only through revelation. God and His revealed truth, therefore, are the basis of all life. God is the only One Who ultimately matters.

The first revelation of the Bible is that of the created order. This concept includes a clear understanding of the original state of creation.

Creation did not remain in the state of being “without form, and void” (Gen. 1:2). Immediately, God began to give form to His creation—a work that would comprise the first three days of the creation week. The final three days of the week would consist of filling the world.

Here is a summary of these first three days of creation:

  • Day 1—the creation of light (cf. Gen. 1:1-5)
  • Day 2—separation of earth from sky with “a firmament,” or “expanse” (Gen. 1:6-8, NASB), meaning an atmosphere (cf. Gen. 1:6-8)
  • Day 3—the creation of “dry land,” “Seas” and plant life which would reproduce “after their kind” (Gen. 1:11-12, NASB) (cf. Gen. 1:9-13)

Here on the third day of creation we are introduced to this very important concept that God created living things to reproduce “after their kind” (Gen. 1:11-12, NASB). This is fundamental to understanding this world that He made. Why is this so important—and so controversial? Because you cannot have any type of evolution if a seed can only produce “after his kind” (Gen. 1:11).

If all kinds are fixed such that, for instance, monkey DNA cannot ever become human DNA, then evolution becomes totally impossible.

We also find in these verses that life is given to us by God. The earth is not the source of life, as some false spiritual teachers proclaim in our world today.

The world as we see it today is not the result of evolution. It is rather the world that God created in the age of innocence—although it has surely been changed by the events of time and, especially, marred by the curse.

In our next installment, we will learn how the Lord began to fill the earth on the fourth day of the creation week.

Editor’s Note: This blog article is taken from the following sermon, which you can watch in its entirety here:

(Read Part 10)

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
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