Founder and CEO

(Read Part 16)


We begin this time with a short review. What is it that marks the beginning of a new dispensation, or a new era in God’s program?

A dispensation begins when a fundamentally new revelation is given by God which changes mankind’s responsibility to God and man.

In other words, God has to dispense something new. He has to give a new revelation. That dispensing of a new revelation causes us to realize that we need to look differently at the world. In fact, we even need to read the Bible differently from that point forward.

This means that we must not take a concept that belongs to a later dispensation and pull it into an earlier dispensation. For instance, there is much talk today about “building the kingdom.” I know what people mean by that—and what they mean is good. Yet, we ought to refine our words when we speak like that because the kingdom will be in the future and it is not something that we can build. The Bible says in describing the coming kingdom that it will arrive:

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the LORD of hosts. (Zech. 4:6, NASB)

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isa. 9:7NASB)

We are not in the kingdom now, and so we must look at these dispensations and make sure to be “rightly dividing” everything in its place (2 Tim. 2:15).

Remember also that neither a richer understanding nor a fulfillment of prophecy constitutes the beginning of a dispensation. We are looking for something that is both totally new and totally fundamental to our understanding. A failure to recognize the fundamental changes between the dispensations has led to so much Biblical and spiritual confusion in the world today.

We also need to look for concepts in each dispensation that carry over to the future and never go away—and for those that cease and do not carry over.

Our purpose is to discern the answer to this question: How do we apply the Scripture to ourselves—our lives—in the place that we are in today?

Abram and the Dispensation of Promise

It is easy to understand the name of this dispensation! The revelation that started this dispensation was a great promise. In fact, it is a promise that still holds true today, and one that fundamentally changed man’s relationship with God.

Where do we find this dispensation? It goes all the way through Exodus 19 where the law is given 50 days after the Passover on Pentecost, but it first begins in Genesis 12:1:

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

Even a casual reading of the section that begins with this verse tells us that something fundamental is changing here. All of the sudden our focus changes to Abram and his descendants and a promise that is given to them. This is a major shift from Genesis 1 to 11, which dealt with all of the nations of the world. But beginning in Genesis 12, our concern is only for Abram and his descendants. All the way from here through Genesis 50, we read about three men—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Something has certainly changed!

This dispensation covers the 635 years from Abram to Moses.

Now, the command that God gives to Abram in Genesis 12:1 is very significant.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

This is a great revelation—but does it fundamentally change man’s relationship with God? Certainly it fundamentally changes Abram’s life! But we must look carefully and see that this verse is not, in and of itself, a revelation that fundamentally changes man’s relationship to God. Thus, it is merely the introduction to the new dispensation and an even greater revelation.

The reason that I point that out is because we must not think that every single time that something is revealed as we read the Bible that we have the beginning of a new dispensation.

A new dispensation only begins when a new revelation is given which changes man’s relationship to God.

By the time we get to the end of Genesis 12:2-3, God will provide such revelation that will begin a brand new dispensation:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

We will begin there next time by thinking about a fundamental change that is ushered in through this extremely important section of Scripture.

May God help us as we study that section further!

Editor’s Note: This blog was compiled with the assistance of Paul J. Scharf,
editor in chief of Dispensational Publishing House,
and is taken from the video that you can watch in its entirety below.

(Read Part 18)

Copyright © 2017 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.

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®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995
by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (